Just a reminder to Municipal Minute readers to subscribe to or follow Ancel Glink's labor and employment law blog, the Workplace Report with Ancel Glink, for up-to-date information on employment-related issues relating to Covid-19. You can check out the ...
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Don't Forget to Check the Workplace Report Re: Paid Sick Leave and Emergency FMLA and more...



Don't Forget to Check the Workplace Report Re: Paid Sick Leave and Emergency FMLA

Just a reminder to Municipal Minute readers to subscribe to or follow Ancel Glink's labor and employment law blog, the Workplace Report with Ancel Glink, for up-to-date information on employment-related issues relating to Covid-19. 

You can check out the blog here.  

You should pay particular attention to a few of our most recent blog posts that answer some of the most common questions regarding the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), which you can find by clicking on the links below:



 

Join Ancel Glink on March 31 for Coronavirus Q&A


On Tuesday, March 31, 2020 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, join Ancel Glink attorneys to discuss local government coronavirus response in a web conference hosted by Ancel Glink's Quorum Forum podcast. State Rep. Chris Welchwill review what the state’s ongoing efforts mean for you, while Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Julie Tappendorf,and Matt DiCiannianswer your questions about managing employees, open meetings, essential services, and the other COVID-19 issues facing local governments. 

Space is limited, so click hereto register and claim your spot today!


 

DECO Provides Guidance on Essential Businesses During Shelter in Place

Many municipalities are fielding complaints and questions from residents and other business owners about certain businesses that remain open during the Governor's stay at home order. Police departments and other municipal staff are being asked by residents and others to enforce the Governor's order and require these businesses to close down. The issue turns on whether a business falls within the definition of an essential business or operation which is allowed to remain open or whether employees of a non-essential business are performing permissible "minimum basic operations."

We reported earlier this week on the Governor's order and listed some of the businesses that are considered "essential" and, therefore, allowed to remain open. Although the list is quite detailed, there are still questions as to whether a particular business falls within one of the listed categories.

This week, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DECO), a state agency, issued guidelines called "Essential Businesses & Operations." These guidelines include the list of essential businesses and operations, as well as guidance on how essential businesses can and should operate. It also includes information to assist businesses in determining whether they might be essential. Finally, it includes a number of commonly raised questions about particular businesses, including car dealerships, personal trainers, technology companies, landscapers, and others. 

You can read DECO's guidance on Essential Businesses & Operations here.

In addition, a business can email DECO to obtain guidance on whether its business is considered essential under the Governor's order. 

DECO has also provided a flowchart for Essential Businesses here.
 

State Issues New COVID-19 Guidance to Local Liquor Control Commissions

Last week, in response to the COVID-19 global health crisis, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order requiring the closure of all bars and restaurants for on-premises consumption. To ease financial hardships imposed by the order and to promote social distancing, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission issued new guidance to local liquor commissioners across the state. The new guidance temporarily authorizes the delivery of alcoholic liquor subject to local approval, and defers to local liquor commissioners whether a municipality will allow “on-premises only retailers” to engage in off-premises sales.

Under these conditions, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission allows local liquor commissioners to permit temporary deliveries of alcoholic liquors. All retail licensees would be temporarily allowed to make curbside deliveries, home residential deliveries, and any other sale or delivery intended to promote social distancing. Local liquor control commissioners may also authorize retailers and temporary delivery licensees to use third party delivery services. However, all deliveries must be made in the original container and licensees may not sell or deliver pre-mixed cocktails normally intended for on-premises consumption. Deliveries made to a residence or to a curbside vehicle will require the delivery representative to observe the recipient at a safe social distance, and if necessary, require the examination of the recipient identification to ensure the recipient is over twenty-one. These temporary privileges are not generally allowed by law, and will be rescinded when the state terminates its COVID-19 emergency restrictions.

In additional guidance, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission announced it will accept the decision of a local liquor control commissioner to allow “on-premises only” retailers to sell alcoholic liquor off the licensed premises. License holders that normally have this privilege include combined (on/off consumption) retailers, off-premises only retailers, brew pubs, distilling pubs, brewers, and craft distillers. However, local authorities may now authorize an on-premises only retailer to make “package” or “to go” sales of alcoholic liquor for consumption off the licensed premises.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission has also announced that renewal deadlines for state liquor licenses expiring March 31, April 30, and May 31 have been extended to July 31, 2020. As a result, state licenses will remain in effect even if the expiration date on its face indicates that it has expired.

Local liquor control commissioners can review the latest guidance on the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s website, and consider authorizing these types of liquor sales that promote social distancing during the COVID-19 emergency.


By Daniel J. Bolin and Rain Montero

 

Details about Governor's Shelter in Place Order

Last week we reported on the Governor Pritzker's "Shelter in Place" Executive Order, which became effective on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Today, we wanted to provide more details about what that EO means to local governments and their officials and employees and how it may affect your operations and activities, both professionally and personally. You can access the Governor's Order on the state's website here.

What is not allowed during the effective period of the order

The general purpose of the shelter in place order is to require individuals in Illinois to stay at home  during this 17 day period, with limited exceptions. So, non-essential businesses must cease operations, non-essential activities and public and private gatherings are prohibited, places of amusement and other operations must close, and non-essential travel must stop.

What is allowed during the effective period of the order

Although the purpose of the order is to keep people at home, there are certain operations and activities that are allowed to continue with appropriate social distancing. While we have summarized some of the key details below, note that this is not an exhaustive list of the permitted activities and operations. If you have any questions about a particular operation or activity, we recommend you review the order itself and consult with your attorney.

The exceptions to the stay at home mandate are identified as follows:

1. Essential Activities
2. Essential Government Functions
3. Essential Infrastructure
4. Essential Businesses and Operations
5. Minimum Basic Operations (non-essential businesses)
6. Essential Travel

1. Essential Activities

Individuals can leave their homes to receive health care and public health services, shop for groceries and necessary supplies, engage in outdoor exercise, or care for a family member, friend or pet, as well as engage in any of the activities or operations identified below.

2. Essential Government Functions

All functions provided by the state or any local government necessary to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies or provide for or support the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and including contractors performing Essential Government Functions can continue. 
  • Each government must determine its Essential Government Functions and identify employees and contractors
  • All first responders, emergency management personnel, dispatchers, court personnel, law enforcement and corrections, hazardous materials responders, child welfare personnel, military, and other governmental employees working for or to support Essential Businesses and Operations are categorically exempt from the order
3. Essential Infrastructure

Individuals may leave their home to provide services or work to provide "essential infrastructure" which are listed in the order. For local governments, that means that employees and contractors can work on the following (not an exhaustive list):
  • public works construction
  • building management and maintenance
  • utility operations
  • road and public transportation
  • flood control
  • solid waste and recycling collection and removal, among others
4. Essential Businesses and Operations

Individuals may leave their home to provide services or work for any essential businesses and operations. The list of essential businesses is quite lengthy, so I encourage you to consult the list or with your attorney if you are unsure whether a particular business is lawfully operating.  Examples of some of these essential businesses include the following (not an exhaustive list):
  • health care and public health operations (excludes fitness centers, spas, salons, barber shops, and similar businesses)
  • grocery stores 
  • pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries
  • gas stations, auto repair (but not sales), and bike shops
  • banks and related financial institutions
  • hardware and supply stores
  • critical trades (plumbers, electricians, etc)
  • postal and other delivery services
  • laundry and dry cleaners
  • restaurants for off-premises consumption
  • supplies for work from home operations
  • transportation
  • professional services (legal, accounting, insurance, real estate)
  • day care for essential workers
  • hotels and motels
  • funeral services

5. Minimum Basic Operations (for non essential businesses)

Other businesses not identified as essential businesses in the order are required to close although employees can continue business from home. There are certain minimum basic operations, however, that are allowed during the order:
  • minimum necessary activities to maintain inventory, preserve plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or related functions
  • minimum necessary activities to facilities employees working from home
6. Essential Travel

Travel is expected to cease unless the travel is necessary to engage in one of the above permitted activities (essential activities, essential business, etc).

Enforcement

The order expressly states that state and local law enforcement agencies can enforce the order under sections 7, 18, and 18 of the IEMA Act. The order itself does not contain a penalty for violations.

While there is authority to enforce the order at the local government level, it is important to note that Governor Pritzker made it clear that he expects residents and businesses to self-regulate rather than have aggressive enforcement by the police. Most local law enforcement agencies will look to compliance by residents and businesses as the goal (meaning verbal warnings for first violations before considering fines or other penalties).

Effect on Local Authority

The order specifically reserves the right of local governments to enact stricter regulations, including quarantine or isolation orders, where appropriate or necessary.