UPDATED STAY-AT-HOME ORDER
On April 30, 2020, Governor Pritzker released Executive Order 2020-32, which extends the current stay-at-home order. However, there are a few key differences in this new order that you should be aware of, not just in the workplace but personally while you are out and about, as well.
What Stays the Same
Despite all the updates, there are several aspects of the stay-at-home order that remain the same. For example, you can still leave home for essential travel, which includes reasons related to health and safety, necessary supplies and services (groceries, healthcare, etc.), outside activities, and to care for others. And, as before, non-essential travel, gatherings of 10 or more people, and the operation of public amusement facilities (zoos, museums, theme parks, etc.) remain prohibited.
Face Masks in Public
Perhaps the biggest change of them all is the new requirement about face masks. Any individual over the age of 2 is required to cover their nose and mouth with a face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a 6-foot social distance. Face-coverings are required in public indoor spaces, like the grocery store, regardless of whether social distancing can be maintained or not.
It is important to note, however, that this requirement is not applicable to those who cannot medically tolerate a face-covering. Also, the order does not require any specialized masks, like the N95. Any mask or cloth that covers your mouth and nose will suffice.
Social Distancing and PPE in the Workplace
Business owners should be aware that they have new requirements under the stay-at-home order, as well. Essential Businesses and businesses engaged in Minimum Basic Operations must take proactive measures to ensure compliance with the state’s social distancing requirements. The executive order lists out several methods of accomplishing this that all businesses should implement where possible.
Signage, tape, and/or other means should be used to designate 6-foot spacing for employees and customers in line in order to show them how to maintain appropriate distance. When 6-foot spacing is not possible, employers should require their employees to wear face coverings. The burden to provide those face coverings lies on the employer. Where appropriate and necessary, an employer should provide employees with other PPE in addition to face coverings.
Businesses are also required to post online whether their facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely. The state also says employers should implement separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers. And, as has been the case during the situation thus far, employers should encourage employees to wash and sanitize their hands frequently throughout the day.
Again, these measures are only to be implemented where possible. These are not necessarily hard-and-fast rules, but they absolutely should be adhered to and practiced in your workplace if at all possible, even if they are somewhat inconvenient.
New Additions to Essential Business Category
The new stay-at-home order also expands the definition of Essential Business to include greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries, along with animal grooming facilities.
As mentioned above, outdoor activity is permitted under the stay-at-home order, so long as social distancing is maintained and you wear a face mask. But the new order now specifies that outdoor activity can include travel to specific State parks that will remain open for certain activities. Which parks and what activities will be decided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Fishing, boating, and golf are permitted only when following the guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Playgrounds will remain closed.
Changes for Retail Stores
Retail stores not designated as Essential Businesses can re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside of the store and delivery. These are considered to be Minimum Basic Operations. Employees who work in the store must follow social distancing requirements and wear a face covering whenever they come within 6 feet of another employee or customer.
Retail stores that are designated as Essential Businesses (such as grocery stores) must, to the greatest extent possible, do the following: provide face coverings to all employees who aren’t able to maintain minimum social distancing at all times; cap occupancy at 50% of store capacity or at occupancy limits based on the store’s square footage; set up store aisles to be one-way where practicable and identify those one-way aisles with conspicuous signage or floor markings; communicate with customers through in-store signage and PSAs about the social distancing requirements within the executive order; and discontinue use of reusable bags.
On a personal note, households should limit the number of members who enter these stores to the minimum necessary. For example, it may be necessary for you to accompany an elderly member of your family to the grocery store, but that trip might not necessitate bringing along your spouse or children.
Life for employers would probably be much easier if this executive order were the only thing to worry about, however recent changes in federal law have made things quite a bit more difficult for business owners to keep up and comply with. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed several weeks ago, and mandates paid sick leave for several reasons, as well as expands the parameters of the Family and Medical Leave Act . Understanding this new act can be difficult, which is why WPD has put in the work to ease that burden. To get an idea of what all the law requires and the documentation you need, check out our blog article here.
If you haven’t yet, we highly encourage you to purchase our FFCRA Toolkit for a flat fee of $200. WPD has put together a full package of forms, policies, and checklists for you to use during the coronavirus pandemic. Our FFCRA Package has all the documents you need and more to help you stay in compliance with all these confusing laws. If you’re interested, contact Susan Dawson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Should you have any questions about the new stay-at-home order, business law, or any other laws that may affect your business, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.
Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.
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