Businesses and Employers: COVID-19
Minnesota Employment and Economic Development (DEED): COVID-19 Information for Minnesotans
DEED is working closely with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Walz-Flanagan Administration, and the Minnesota Legislature to take proactive steps to ensure the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic do not cause unnecessary burdens on employers and workers in Minnesota.
Stay at Home order
Governor Walz issued an executive order directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs. This order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27 and ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10.
Workers who work in critical sectors during this time are exempt from the stay at home order.
Critical services include, but are not limited to:
- Health care and public health
- Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
- Child care
- Homeless shelters
- Food and agriculture
- News media
- Critical manufacturing
- Water and wastewater
More information is available from Minnesota Employment and Economic Development (DEED):
Guidance on Stay at Home Order.
All businesses and employees should be implementing policies and guidance listed below. Critical services should do this now and all other employers should prepare for when their businesses re-open.
- Encourage staff to telework (when feasible), particularly people with underlying medical conditions.
- Implement social distancing measures:
- Increase physical space between workers at the worksite.
- Stagger work schedules.
- Decrease social contacts in the workplace (e.g., limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.)
- Limit large work-related gatherings (e.g., staff meetings, after-work functions).
- Limit non-essential work travel (domestic and international).
- Consider regular health checks (e.g., temperature and respiratory symptom screening) of staff and visitors entering buildings (if feasible).
- Require workers who are ill to stay home.
- Provide accommodation (e.g., telework or separate office) for people with underlying medical conditions.
Sick Leave Policies
- Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
- Do not require a health care provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as health care provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
- Aside from ensuring that sick employees are staying home, it's important for organizations to identify critical functions and develop plans for how to staff those functions even with elevated absences.
- Some organizations may find it helpful to emphasize cross-training and develop backup plans for those "must-do" functions.
- Working from home is an option for some people, and we encourage employers to find ways to expand its use.
Additional guidance is available at:
- Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry: Workers Rights and Protections
- Know where to find local information on COVID-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases.
- Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if staff become symptomatic at the worksite.
- Review, update, or develop workplace plans to include:
- Consider alternate team approaches for work schedules.
- Encourage personal protective measures among staff (e.g., stay home when sick, hand-washing, respiratory etiquette).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Ensure hand hygiene supplies are readily available in building.
- CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19
Prevention and preparation strategies for businesses and employers.
- Behavioral Health and COVID-19
Mental health and behavioral health resources specific to COVID-19.