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    Locke Lord QuickStudy: State Restrictions on Non-Essential Business Operations During the COVID-19 Crisis

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    Within the past month, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, ‎the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, ‎Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, ‎Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, ‎Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, ‎Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and many localities throughout the United States have ‎prohibited all “non-essential” public and private employees from commuting or gathering for ‎work as a result of COVID-19. As many other states will likely follow suit, employers ‎throughout the country will need to determine which of their employees, if any, qualify for each ‎jurisdiction’s unique exemptions on employment operations.

    For many businesses, this means that they must determine whether they operate within the ‎varying definitions of essential services. As provided below, both the federal government and all ‎noted states and localities ‎have issued guidance on what constitutes essential services in their ‎jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have deferred entirely to the federal government’s guidelines on ‎essential critical infrastructure, while others have either provided their own lists or supplemented ‎the federal guidelines. ‎

     

    Jurisdiction

    Source of Essential Services Criteria

    Alabama Federal Guidelines and State Order 

    Alaska

    Federal Guidelines and State Order 

    Arizona State Order 

    California

    Federal Guidelines

    Colorado

    State Order

    Connecticut

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Delaware

    State Order

    District of Columbia Federal Guidelines and District Order
    Florida Federal Guidelines
    Georgia Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Hawaii

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Idaho

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Illinois

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Indiana

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Kansas State Order 

    Kentucky

    State Order

    Louisiana

    Federal Guidelines

    Maine State Order 

    Massachusetts

    State Order

    Maryland

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Michigan

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Minnesota  Federal Guidelines
    Mississippi  Federal Guidelines and State Order
    Missouri Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Montana Federal Guidelines and State Order
    Nevada  State Order
    New Hampshire   State Order

    New Jersey

    State Order

    New Mexico

    State Order

    New York

    State Order

    North Carolina  Federal Guidelines and State Order
    Oklahoma  State Order 

    Ohio

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Oregon

    State Order

    Pennsylvania

    State Order

    Rhode Island State Order 
    Charleston, South Carolina  Local Order

    Columbia, South Carolina

    Local Order

    Tennessee Federal Guidelines and Local Order
    Texas Federal Guidelines and State Order
    Bell County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Bexar County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 

    Dallas County, Texas

    Federal Guidelines and Local Order

    Denton County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    El Paso County, Texas Federal Guidelines and Local Order 

    Harris County, Texas

    Federal Guidelines and Local Order

    Hunt County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order
    Galveston, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    McLennan County, Texas Local Order 
    Robertson County, Texas  Local Order  

    San Antonio, Texas

    Federal Guidelines and Local Order

    Tarrant County, Texas

    Federal Guidelines and Local Order

    Travis County, Texas  Local Order 

    Collin County, Texas

    Local Order

    Williamson County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Brazoria County, Texas  Local Order 
    Cameron County, Texas  Local Order
    Chambers County, Texas Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Ellis County, Texas  Local Order 
    Hays County, Texas  Local Order 
    Hildalgo County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Kaufman County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Liberty County, Texas Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Longview, Texas Federal Guidelines and Local Order  
    Nacogdoches County, Texas  Local Order 
    Nueces County, Texas  Local Order 
    Polk County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Robertson County, Texas Local Order 
    Rockwall County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    San Jacinto County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Scurry County, Texas
    Federal Guidelines and Local Order
    Starr County, Texas
    Local Order
    Willacy County, Texas Local Order 

    Austin, Texas

    Federal Guidelines and Local Order

    Smith County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Harrison County, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Lubbock, Texas  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Wichita Fallas, Texas Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Salt Lake City, Utah  Federal Guidelines and Local Order 
    Summit County, Utah  Local Order 
    Virginia State Order 
    Vermont  State Order 

    Washington

    Federal Guidelines

    West Virginia

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Wisconsin

    Federal Guidelines and State Order

    Jackson, Wyoming  Local Order 

     

    It is important to note further that, as of the date of this publication, the federal guidelines are in no way binding on the states, and are only there to provide guidance to states and municipalities. The federal government has likely issued these guidelines, rather than a sweeping national standard, both out of deference to the “police powers” afforded to states under the Constitution, as well as an understanding that individual states are more properly suited to assess their unique needs. Nevertheless, there have been calls, including by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urging states and municipalities to issue uniform standards based on the instituted federal guidelines.

    For some businesses, the determination of whether they are an essential service will be a straight-forward determination; for many others, it will be a matter of interpretation. Many businesses are also asking then whether there is a method by which they can be precleared as an essential or critical service. At this point, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, and some municipalities have offered ‎businesses the ability to request a designation or opinion on whether they are an essential service; however, these are optional and are not required of all businesses. It is unlikely that any ‎state would have the capacity required to preclear all essential businesses, and therefore is an unlikely ‎measure for a state to take.

    Instead, businesses must determine—based on the guidance provided at the federal level and any ‎associated restrictions at the state or local level—whether they have a reasonable belief that their ‎business is providing an exempted service to society.

    For a copy of the federal memo, click here.
    For more guidance on the federal memo and its interpretation, click here.
    For a copy of the Alabama order, click here.‎
    For a copy of the Alaska order, click here.
    For a copy of the Arizona order, click here
    For a copy of the California order, click here.
    For a copy of the Colorado order, click here.
    For a list of “essential businesses” in Colorado, click here
    For a copy of the Connecticut order, click here.
    For a list of “essential businesses” in Connecticut, click here.
    For a copy of the Delaware order, click here.
    For a list of “essential businesses” in Delaware, here.
    For a copy of the District of Columbia order, click here
    For a copy of the Florida order, click here.
    For a copy of the Georgia order, click here.

    For a copy of the Hawaii order, click here.
    For a copy of the Idaho order, click here.
    For a copy of the Illinois order, click here.
    For a copy of the Indiana order, click here.
    For a copy of the Kansas order, click here.
    For a copy of the Kentucky order, click here.
    For a copy of the Louisiana order, click here.
    For a copy of the Maine order, click here.
    For a copy of the Massachusetts order, click here.
    For a list of “COVID-19 Essential Services” in Massachusetts, click here.
    For a copy of the Maryland order, click here.
    For a list of “essential businesses” in Maryland, click here.
    For a copy of the Michigan order, click here.
    For a copy of the Minnesota order, click here.
    For a copy of the Mississippi order, click here.
    For a copy of the Missouri order, click here.

    For a copy of the Montana order, click here.
    For a copy of the Nevada order, click here
    For a copy of the New Hampshire order, click here.
    For a list of “essential businesses” in New Hampshire, click here.
    For a copy of the New Jersey order, click here.
    For a copy of the New Mexico order, click here.
    For a copy of the current New York order, click here.
    For a list of “essential businesses” in New York, click here.
    For a copy of the North Carolina order, click here.
    For a copy of the Oklahoma order, click here.
    For a copy of the Ohio order, click here.
    For a copy of the Oregon order, click here.
    For a copy of the Pennsylvania order, click here.
    For a list of “life sustaining businesses” in Pennsylvania, click here.
    For a copy of the Rhode Island order, click here.
    For a copy of the Tennessee order, click here.
    For a copy of the Texas order, click here.
    For a list of “essential businesses” in Texas, click here.
    For a copy of the Virginia order, click here.
    For a copy of the Vermont order, click here.
    For a copy of the Washington order, click here.
    For a copy of the West Virginia order, click here.
    For a copy of the Wisconsin order, click here.
    For a copy of the Anchorage, AK order, click here.
    For a copy of the Charleston, SC order, click here.
    For a copy of the Columbia, SC order, click here.
    For a copy of the Dallas County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Bell County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Denton County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the McLennan County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Robertson County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Travis County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the San Antonio, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Tarrant County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Collin County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Harris County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Hunt County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Williamson County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Brazoria County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Cameron County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Chambers County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Ellis County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Hays County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Hidalgo County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Kaufman County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Liberty County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Nueces County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Polk County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Robertson County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Rockwall County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the San Jacinto County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Scurry County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Starr County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Willacy County, TX order, click here.‎
    For a copy of the Austin, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Galveston, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Longview, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Smith County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Nacogdoches County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Harrison County, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Lubbock, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Wichita Falls, TX order, click here.
    For a copy of the Davis County, UT order, click here.
    For a copy of the Salt Lake City, UT order, click here.
    For a copy of the Summit County, UT order, click here.
    For a copy of the Jackson, WY order, click here.

    Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center often for up-to-date information to help you stay informed of the legal issues related to COVID-19.

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