We have been inundated with requests by our business clients about their legal obligations when responding to COVID-19. Here are a few of the most common questions (and their answers!) that we’ve seen:

Closure of all businesses except those that are “life-sustaining”

In its earlier guidance, Pennsylvania has “strongly urged” non-essential businesses throughout the state to close for at least 14 days. But the essential vs. non-essential debate was moot before it ever really got started. Now the triggering standard is whether your business is “life-sustaining.” Governor Wolf’s office has provided a detailed breakdown, industry by industry, of what may be physically open at this point in time.

Enforcement of these measures has been taken seriously throughout the area thus far. We have already had employers in the life-sustaining categories report their employees were questioned by law enforcement on the way to work. So for now, we need to hunker down and work remotely if we are not an authorized business.

Still not sure? Any business can ask for clarification at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov. And businesses can seek waivers (although in our experience that are not generally being granted) by emailing RA-dcexemption@pa.gov.


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