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Connecticut Clarifies Reopening Rules Apply to Essential Businesses, Issues General Business Rules

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has issued Order No. 7PP, which authorizes implementation of the “Sector Rules” issued by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). This order clarifies that the Sector Rules are intended to apply to all businesses that come within their scope, including essential businesses that had been allowed to remain open under previous Orders.

The DECD had stated that its intent was that the Sector Rules do not apply to businesses that have remained open for business, and essential businesses that are not currently subject to the Sector Rules (such as manufacturing and hospitals) are permitted to continue operations in accordance with the Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers. Order No. 7PP explains that the Sector Rules will be expanded as additional businesses are phased into Connecticut’s reopening plans.

The first expansion includes General Business Rules, which is applicable to university research and outdoor activities. These rules mirror the general guidance applicable in the Sector Rules, including cleaning protocols, employee training, required signage, and mandatory social distancing. The General Business Rules do not suggest appointment of a Program Administrator or expressly require certification with the DECD. However, both steps are recommended as DECD has indicated that all business that are reopening are subject to the certification requirements.

Order No. 7PP also details the manner in which the Sector Rules (in both their current form and in any subsequent expansions) will be enforced. Authority to enforce Sector Rules pertaining to “Public Health Facilities” (including hair salons, barbershops, beauty shops, nail salons, spas, tattoo or piercing establishments, restaurants, eating establishments, and private clubs) is delegated to the Local Health Director, while all other locations are subject to the authority of the municipal Chief Executive Officer. Accordingly, violation of the applicable Sector Rules will be deemed a public nuisance, and the respective authority may order the closure of the business until the nuisance is abated.

By way of clarification, Order No. 7PP states that the prohibition on gatherings in excess of five people includes groups that may be eating at a restaurant or engaging in any other group activity permitted by the Sector Rules. By inference, this extends to group meetings in an office setting.

Finally, the Order extends the closure of other businesses not subject to the Sector Rules or otherwise open as essential employers until June 20, 2020. Day camps have been permitted to resume beginning June 22, 2020, under anticipated guidance from the Commissioner of Early Childhood regarding enhanced health procedures. However, overnight resident camps are prohibited. Public summer school is prohibited from beginning until July 6, 2020, subject to additional guidance from the Commissioner of Education; private and other non-public schools are “encouraged” to follow this schedule and guidance.

Reopening orders contain extensive requirements creating compliance issues that can vary significantly depending on the specific state or local jurisdiction. 

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 148


About this Author

Tanya Bovee, employment law compliance attorney, employment lawyer, disability accommodation, Jackson Lewis, Hartford law firm
Office Managing Principal

Tanya A. Bovée is the Office Managing Principal of the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Bovée routinely advises and provides management training on all aspects of employment law compliance, employment disputes and personnel matters such as hiring, firing, performance management, internal investigations, and disability accommodation. She also has an active litigation practice, defending employers from federal and state claims. Ms. Bovée also defends employers in OFCCP compliance reviews and oversees...

Victoria Woodin Chavey, Employment Lawyer, Plaintiff Discrimination Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law firm

Victoria ("Tory") Woodin Chavey is a Principal in the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. An experienced trial lawyer, she has represented employers for nearly 20 years on a wide range of employment issues, from single-plaintiff discrimination cases to discrimination class actions and wage and hour cases.

Ms. Chavey appears regularly in state and federal courts in Connecticut, as well as New York and other Northeast states. She frequently defends claims in arbitration and at state and federal administrative agencies, and has argued appeals in the Connecticut Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the First and Second Circuits.

Of Counsel

Russell N. Jarem is Of Counsel in the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

Mr. Jarem regularly advises and represents employers in a broad range of employment law matters, including litigation under state and federal anti-discrimination statutes in a variety of forums, including state and federal courts, the Department of Labor, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and the Equal Employment Opportunities...