On Friday, April 10, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order extending the state’s “non-essential” business restrictions until at least May 20. As we previously detailed, this measure applies to all businesses deemed “non-essential” under a prior executive order (and was initially scheduled to last until April 22).
In addition, last week Governor Lamont issued another executive order, requiring that all workplaces take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Health, was charged with promulgating legally binding rules enforcing these additional protective measures. These mandatory rules, entitled Connecticut’s Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers, can be found here. The Safe Workplace Rules require all employees to wear a mask at work and set forth measures designed to eliminate transmission points and control workplace contact. The rules also detail guidelines specific to essential construction sites. The Safe Workplace Rules supplement the state’s Essential Safe Store Rules, which set forth protective measures for essential retailers.
Finally, Governor Lamont also last week issued an executive order modifying Connecticut unemployment law such that an employer’s “experience ratings” will not be increased as a result of COVID-19 unemployment claims. This measure applies to unemployment benefits paid to a claimant who, through no fault of their own, becomes either partially or fully unemployed due to Connecticut’s COVID-19 public health and civil preparedness emergency declared on March 10, 2020, and any period of extension or renewal.
Connecticut employers who are deemed essential businesses should immediately take steps to ensure they are in compliance with the state’s Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers. If you have any questions on Connecticut’s latest measures, or have any other questions with respect to workforce management in the wake of COVID-19, please contact Reed Smith’s labor and employment team.