On March 19, 2020 Governor Newsom issued a state-wide stay at home Order that will remain in place until further notice. To view or download a copy of Executive Order 33-20, click here. The Order directs all residents in the State of California to stay home unless necessary to maintain the continuity of operations of federally recognized critical infrastructure sectors. To determine what infrastructure sectors are critical, the Governor refers to the U.S. Homeland Security CISA website. There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors (industries) listed by the CISA as critical to the United States: chemical; commercial (which could potentially be broadly interpreted to cover many businesses); communication; critical manufacturing; dams; defense; emergency services; energy; financial; food and agriculture; government; healthcare and public health; IT; nuclear waste; transportation; and water and wastewater. Governor Newsom’s Order expressly states that he may designate other sectors as critical to protecting the public health and safety.
The CISA list of critical infrastructure sectors is a guide to help state and local governments make decisions. Ultimately it is up to the respective governmental body to make the decisions as to what it will deem critical. However, the CISA advises that when trying to determine whether a business or service is critical, “the focus during this response is maintaining the businesses and services that enable continued economic and social vitality. It is not focused on maintaining business as usual nor is it trying to sustain the operating capacity of non-critical businesses and industries.”
Combining the shelter-in-place orders issued by various counties with this state-wide order, businesses are advised to evaluate whether or not they fit within a critical infrastructure sector and take all appropriate steps to comply with local county orders and this new state order. The attorneys at Weintraub Tobin are available to assist in this evaluation and compliance analysis. Feel free to reach out to the Weintraub Tobin attorney you regularly work with, or to any of the attorneys in the Labor and Employment Group. We wish you and yours the best through these very difficult and uncertain times.