Minnesota Eases COVID-19 Restrictions, Recommends Continued Work-From-Home
Nearly one year after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz first issued an executive order addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, he has issued new Emergency Executive Order 21-11 (Adjusting Limitations on Certain Activities and Taking Steps Forward), easing restrictions on social gatherings and occupancy limitations for certain industries.
Further, for employers of any industry, the work-from-home mandate is lifted as of April 14, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Rather, Governor Walz continues to strongly recommend work-from-home, where possible, as the state and nation continue to combat the pandemic. Employers should consider seriously the pros and cons of having additional employees re-enter the workplace and start planning any potential transition as early as possible.
The order continues to require employers to implement and follow their COVID-19 Preparedness Plans and abide by all other mask mandate and social distancing guidelines.
The order also encourages employers to provide reasonable accommodations for at-risk employees and employees with household members who have underlying medical conditions and are not yet eligible for vaccination. Employers also should remember to abide by all federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
The road back to a “new normal” for most employers requires many considerations and planning for any industry. There are many resources available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to assist with this planning.