On March 23, 2010, Massachusetts Governor Baker issued an emergency Order Assuring Continued Operation of Essential Services in the Commonwealth, Closing Certain Workplaces, and Prohibiting Gatherings of More than 10 People. A copy of the emergency Order may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-23-2020-essential-services-and-revised-gatherings-order. A listing of essential services not subject to workplace closure may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-essential-services/download. A copy of the Assemblage Guidance (stay-at-home advisory) may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-23-assemblage-guidance/download.
If your business is not listed as an “essential service” but you think it should be listed, you may apply to have your business deemed as essential for purposes of the Emergency Order at this link: https://www.mass.gov/forms/essential-service-designation-request.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has issued COVID-19 FAQs, which provides its perspective on how to navigate the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace. A link to these FAQs, which the Attorney General’s Office has promised to update as circumstances change, may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-fld-faqs.
The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance has issued a new handbook for employees, that should be provided upon temporary layoff (furlough) or termination, at least until the COVID-19 crisis is over. This is over and above the standard unemployment pamphlet that must be provided. A copy of the new pamphlet may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/filing-a-new-unemployment-claim-covid-19/download. The one-week waiting period before benefits may be provided is waived for the time being. Further DUA guidance may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-unemployment-information.
For small businesses in need of recovery funds, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is accepting applications from Massachusetts businesses. Applications are available here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
We will continue to provide updates as events unfold.