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Law Alert: States Order Workers to “Stay at Home” – Many Transportation Operations Exempted

March 20. 2020

Transportation Law Alert  - States Order Workers to “Stay at Home” – Many Transportation Operations Exempted 

Last night, Pennsylvania’s Governor Wolf became the first Governor to issue an order effectively requiring all non-life sustaining businesses to close their physical locations and move to a virtual/telework business model to attempt to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Shortly after, Governor Newsom issued an order to California residents to “stay at home” except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of critical businesses. In his Order, Gov. Newsom specifically recognized that “the supply chain must continue.” 

These orders apply regardless of whether businesses are open to the public, and therefore have a substantially farther reach than currently existing state and local restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other businesses at which people typically gather.

Both states continue to permit the operation of “essential” businesses. The federal government has identified transportation and logistics services (beyond transportation of cargo, this includes employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, firms that enable transportation logistics, automotive repair and maintenance facilities, manufacturers and distributors of packaging and distribution and staging materials, and employees who repair and maintain vehicles) as part of the essential critical infrastructure, and no state-level order has yet sought to curtail these essential operations. 

In both states, law enforcement has been authorized to ensure compliance with the orders. Enforcement actions against Pennsylvania businesses that are out of compliance will begin at 12:01 a.m. on March 21. The California order was immediately effective. The orders will remain in place until rescinded by the respective  Governor. 

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News from Scopelitis is intended as a report to our clients and friends on developments affecting the transportation industry. The published material does not constitute an exhaustive legal study and should not be regarded or relied upon as individual legal advice or opinion.
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