As the number of reported cases of COVID-19 continues to increase dramatically, several states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Louisiana, have issued public health orders requiring over one-fourth of Americans to stay at home. More states are likely to follow. While these orders generally require non-essential businesses, such as bars and restaurants, to close their doors, many other businesses, including those deemed essential and critical infrastructure, are exempt from these public orders. Moreover, companies providing medical and other supplies under a “rated order” to the government may be required to continue operations under the Defense Production Act (DPA). Although telework may be an option for some employers who can remain open, remote work is not possible for workers at many of these companies.
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*Victoria Dalcourt Angle is a member of our Government Contracts practice in our Washington, D.C. office and not admitted to the bar.