August 15, 2020

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Massachusetts Implements New Guidelines for June 8 Start Date for Phase 2 of Economic Reopening

On June 6, 2020, Massachusetts Gov. Baker announced that Phase 2 of the Four-Phase Reopening Plan (known as the “cautions” phase), will start on June 8, 2020. Phase 2 will be divided into two parts, with certain businesses allowed to reopen on June 8, while others will be permitted to reopen at an unspecified date so long as the trend of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases continues to decline.

As Massachusetts moves into Phase 2, Gov. Baker’s administration has released additional guidance for businesses that will be allowed to reopen. Under Executive Order No. 35, effective June 1, 2020, business and other organizations that are included within Phase 2 were permitted to open their physical workplaces and facilities to workers for the purpose of preparing to reopen.

In addition to the general Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards addressed in our previous alert, some Phase 2 businesses and organizations will also be required to comply with Sector-Specific Rules to address the particular circumstances and operational needs of those specific workplaces. So far, the Sector-Specific Rules for businesses that can open in the first part of Phase 2 include:

Gov. Baker also reinforced the guidance for office spaces in Phase 2, continuing to mandate that employees work from home if feasible to do so. Office spaces are still subject to capacity requirements through Phase 2 and may only allow 25 percent of workers to be in the office at one time.

The Baker administration announced it expects the second half of Phase 2 will include reopenings for indoor table service at restaurants and close-contact personal services such as nail salons, skin care, massage therapy, and personal trainers.

Along with identifying business permitted to reopen in Phase 2, the June 1 Executive Order provided more information regarding businesses that are not slated to reopen until Phases 3 and 4. See updated guidance regarding the timing and requirements for businesses to reopen

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 161

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About this Author

Amanda L. Carney Labor & Employment Litigation Attorney Greenberg Traurig Boston, MA
Associate

Amanda L. Carney represents clients in a broad range of commercial litigation and labor and employment matters, including claims involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation. She is experienced with handling matters in state, federal, and appeals court, and before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. She also assists clients with conducting internal investigations involving employee misconduct. Amanda provides clients with day-to-day counseling on a variety of matters regarding wage and hour laws, internal investigations, employee handbooks/policies, and compliance...

617.310.5268
Jack Gearan, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Boston, Education, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney
Associate

Jack S. Gearan is a lawyer in the Boston office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. He concentrates his practice in the areas of business litigation and employment law. Jack has experience in all phases of civil litigation including discovery, mediation, arbitration and trial.

Jack’s business litigation practice covers a variety of business torts, including misrepresentation, fraud, contract disputes, and claims under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A – the Massachusetts unfair trade practices statute.

Jack also regularly represents employers in all areas of employment law, including litigation of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and non-compete cases, as well as numerous other personnel and workplace issues. Jack frequently represents employers in wage and hour class actions brought under the Massachusetts Wage Act, and nationwide collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

617-310-5225
Justin Keith, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Boston, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney
Associate

Justin F. Keith represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law—including litigation of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, reductions in force, and numerous other personnel and workplace issues—before state and federal agencies and in courts throughout the country

He is experienced with wage and hour class actions brought under the Massachusetts Wage Act and nationwide collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. He represents employers across a broad spectrum of industries, including retail,...

617-310-6230