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For Essential Businesses: Providing Documentation Letters to Your Employees

April 13, 2020

As the nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses across the country have been forced to close down operations, while some businesses deemed “essential” by their states and/or local governments have become exempt from state and/or local emergency “stay at home” directives during the COVID-19 national response.

We have been asked whether FAMA and FEMSA member companies, who are deemed essential, should provide documentation letters to their employees to carry with them, explaining that they are essential and exempt from any state and/or local “stay home” orders, in the event that they are stopped and questioned by law enforcement.

Should you choose to develop such a letter to your employees, you may consider including the following components:

  • State that your business is remaining operational following a directive from your state and/or local government, deeming your company as an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Include a specific reference to the state and/or local provision that credentials the employee as an essential worker (remember that federal guidance – see below – is only advisory, so it is important to refer to the operative state and/or local declaration).
  • Indicate that as employees of your business that they are deemed essential employees, and that they are critical to your business’ continued operation.

Defining Essential

On March 28, the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Agency (CISA) released updated Federal Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. (Version 2.0). Click here to review the latest version of the Federal Guidelines.

Many states have or will likely adopt this federal guidance as their own determination of essential workers. However, as the federal guidance is advisory, it is critical that our FAMA and FEMSA member companies work with their governors, state emergency management agencies to clarify. Click here for a contact list of state emergency management agencies.

New Interim Guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

The CDC recently released Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Click here to view new interim guidance.

Click here for the Member Notice in pdf.

If you have any questions, please contact the GAC Co-chairs:
John Granby at [email protected]
Lee Morris at [email protected]
David Durstine at [email protected]
or GAC Sr. Adviser Dave Gatton at [email protected]