Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-20
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed Emergency Executive Order 20-20 “Directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home.” For the full text click here.
Like many other states, the order contains exemptions for “Activities” and “Critical Sectors.” The Critical Sectors include those listed in the Order as well as those listed in the CISA Guidance document. The Order contains 43 categories of exempt activities.
What do the design and construction sectors need to know about this Order?
First, the following personal activities are exempt, meaning you can leave your house to do the following but should practice social distancing:
If you are involved in design or construction of any of the exempt categories or critical infrastructure, you should consider providing your employees with a letter that confirms they are exempt for purposes of traveling to and from the office and working in the office. Of course, you should confirm that your business is complying with the Order by requiring work at home as much as practical.
Unlike other states, the Minnesota Order does not include an exemption for Minimum Basic Operations for general businesses. In states such as Michigan and Wisconsin, these exemptions are focused on personnel who maintain billing, payroll and employee benefits to allow general businesses to continue to operate. It also includes employee functions necessary to support and maintain the ability of other employees to work from home. This appears to be an oversight by the Minnesota Governor and design and construction related associations are encouraged to ask their lobbyists to seek a clarification on this issue.
Minnesota Courts Update
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a peacetime emergency on March 13, 2020 in response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. The Minnesota Supreme Court has so far issued two orders in response—one on March 13th and another on March 20th. The relevant points of those Orders are summarized below. Generally, most lawsuits will continue as normal; however, no trials will be heard before April 22nd and civil hearings will be conducted remotely (video and/or telephone conferencing) or cancelled unless there is an immediate concern to liberty or safety. We will continue to individually notify clients of any changes to their lawsuits and keep you apprised of any new orders from the courts.
Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court: