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California Publishes Detailed List of Essential Workers Exempt from Stay-At-Home Order

On March 19, 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents to stay at home, except as necessary to maintain “essential critical infrastructure sectors.” The order left open the potential for the governor to add additional sectors whose workers may continue to report to work.

On March 20, 2020, the State Public Health Officer designated a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.” Unlike prior guidance referenced in the March 19, 2020 order, the list identifies, on a case-by-case basis, workers who “supply” or “support” critical infrastructure sectors as essential workers. The list is the most detailed published to date by the state identifying workers exempt from the March 19, 2020, stay-at-home order.

Separately, the state has now issued a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing the March 19, 2020, executive order. The state has also collected all county orders in one location on its COVID-19 website, including those with shelter-in-place requirements. Many of these orders have been supplemented with FAQs within the past week, or amended. Employers subject to these orders will want to monitor developments carefully.

The stated purpose of the state’s March 20, 2020 “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” list is to “help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 83


About this Author

Douglas Farmer, Employment Attorney, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm

Mr. Farmer is a shareholder in the firm’s San Francisco office. He has served as lead defense counsel to Fortune 500 companies in more than 50 wage and hour class actions over the past decade, developing practical compliance solutions for his clients in areas such as California meal and rest break requirements, wage statement regulations, joint employment, piece rate pay, and emerging California legal developments. He has tried to verdict a wide variety of employment cases in California state and federal courts, including wage and hour, disability discrimination, FMLA/CFRA, sexual...