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April 27, 2020
Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-40 Allows Workers in Certain Non-Critical Sectors to Return to Safe Workplaces

Beginning April 27, 2020, employers in non-critical manufacturing, industrial and office-based businesses may return to work if they complete the requirements of the Executive Order.

Who does EO 20-40 apply to?  

Executive Order 20-40 allows limited return to work for these categories of employers: 

  • Industrial and manufacturing businesses: includes wholesale trade, warehousing and places of employment in which goods are in the process of being created. 
  • Office-based businesses: includes workers who are not primarily customer facing and do their work in an office space or at a desk.

Importantly, these categories do not include customer-facing retail environments. 

What is required to bring employees back into the workplace?

Beginning today, an employer in the industrial, manufacturing or office-based categories described above must do the following to bring employees back to the workplace:

  • Establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (“Plan”) that implements Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines in the workplace. The Plan does not require preapproval but must be made available to regulatory authorities and public safety officers, including the Department of Labor, upon request. An optional template for a Plan is available from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development at these links: Word | PDF
    • Minimum Plan Requirements:
      • Require that employees work from home whenever possible
      • Ensure that sick workers stay home
      • Provide rules and make physical arrangements for social distancing
      • Provide for employee hygiene practices and supplies
      • Provide cleaning and disinfection protocols for areas within the workplace
  • The Plan must be certified and signed by senior management responsible for implementing the Plan affirming their commitment to implement and follow the Plan.
  • Dissemination and posting: The Plan must be provided in writing to all workers and physically posted at all of the business’ workplaces in locations it can readily be reviewed by all workers. Electronic positing is allowed if physical posting is impractical and the plan remains available to all workers for review.
  • Employers must train employees on the contents of the Plan. Training must be available in an appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.
  • Compliance: Employers must arrange for supervision to ensure that workers understand and adhere to the Plan, and must maintain documentation, available upon request by regulatory authorities, demonstrating compliance with training requirements.

Additional guidance is available if you have questions about which Non-Critical Businesses are included in the exemption and requirements before re-opening.

Please contact any member of our employment law or business law teams to discuss your COVID-19 related concerns.  

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