June 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 169


June 18, 2021

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June 16, 2021

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June 15, 2021

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Massachusetts Starts Phase Two of Reopening Plan

On June 6, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the state would start phase 2 of its reopening plan on June 8. This is the second of four phases in the reopening plan. Phase 1 began on May 18. Phase 2 allows the following businesses to reopen on June 8, subject to certain restrictions:

  • Hotels, motels and inns
  • Restaurants (outdoor seating with indoor seating later in phase 2)
  • Retail stores (curbside pickup and delivery was permitted in Phase 1)
  • In-person elective, non-urgent procedures and services, including routine office visits, dental visits, behavioral health, and vision care subject to ongoing compliance with public health and safety standards
  • Occupational schools
  • Personal services that do not involve close personal contact, such as photography, window washers and career coaching (those involving close contact can open later in Phase 2)
  • Flight schools
  • Beer gardens / breweries / wineries / distilleries (if providing seated food service under retail food permits issued by municipal authorities)
  • Non-athletic instructional classes in arts / education / life skills (youths under 18 years of age, in groups of fewer than ten)
  • Funeral homes
  • Warehouses and distribution centers
  • Golf facilities including outdoor driving ranges
  • Camps including sports and arts camps (does not include overnight camps)
  • Limited organized youth and adult amateur sports programs and activities (outdoor only for adults, indoor for supervised youth programs and activities)
  • Professional sports practice and training programs
  • Other outdoor recreational facilities (pools, playgrounds, spray decks, mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, climbing walls)
  • Outdoor historical spaces / sites
  • Non-construction related in-home installations (construction related installations were permitted in Phase 1)
  • Auto dealers and wholesalers: browsing inside showrooms (curbside pickup and delivery was permitted in Phase 1)
  • Libraries: inside browsing (curbside pickup and delivery was permitted in Phase 1)

All reopening businesses must comply with the state’s mandatory safety standards. In addition, they must follow sector-specific mandatory safety standards and recommended best practices.

As many employers continue to reimagine their workplaces, they should begin to develop their return to work plans using the tools on the Reopening Massachusetts webpage. Implementing these new standards will require a strong working knowledge of many aspects of an employer’s operations, as well as the new health and safety protocols. Larger employers should consider forming a multidisciplinary team to adopt these measures and develop an employee communication program.

In addition, as a condition of reopening, employers must provide training for employees regarding safety measures, including social distancing and hygiene protocols.

Reopening orders contain extensive requirements creating compliance issues that can vary significantly depending on the specific state or local jurisdiction. Jackson Lewis attorneys are closely monitoring updates and changes to legal requirements and guidance and are available to help employers weed through the complexities involved with state-specific or multistate-compliant plans.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume X, Number 159



About this Author

Michael Bertoncini, Jackson Lewis, labor relations attorney, employment litigation lawyer, NLRB proceedings counsel, arbitration law

Michael R. Bertoncini is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices labor and employment law, with a particular emphasis on labor relations, and employment law counseling and litigation.

In labor relations matters, he regularly counsels clients on the practice of positive employee relations, negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of organized clients, represents clients in labor arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board proceedings, and counsels clients with...