ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES

FPLG COVID-19 RESPONSE

ESSENTIAL ACTIVITIES

[UPDATE: May 26, 2020]

All employers, including nonprofits, have been struggling with keeping up with the changing rules and laws applicable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But just in the past week or so, the pace of “reopenings” has accelerated around the nation, including in California. The definition of “essential activities” will change or at least somewhat fade.

This is a rapidly developing story and we’ll be updating it frequently as the new rules begin to come into focus.

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[April 6, 2020]

In this pandemic, the threshold question is whether a particular business or organization is exempted from the stay-at-home orders in California and most other states.

Before Governor Newsom’s statewide order on March 19, 2020, certain local jurisdictions and regions had already imposed broadly restrictive orders on activities. The Governor’s Declarationbrought myriad county and city public-health directives under a single umbrella” [and] “created a modicum of order to what had been patchwork of local responses, some specific, some less so.”

There is still no nationwide order; in any event, the individual states have the authority to act on these matters. The state’s order takes precedence, but doesn’t preclude local governments from enacting more stringent requirements that are consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order.

Based on the order of California’s public-health chief, there are 13 sectors designated as “Essential Critical Infrastructure” and the workers in those sectors are permitted to continue working. There is a federal list of 16 “critical infrastructure” designations which is advisory only. California’s list, to a large extent, reflects the federal designations.

“Businesses and organizations falling under the critical infrastructure categories “need not receive special authorization from the state to continue operations.”

Contact FPLG (619) 780.3839

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the nation to walk a tightrope. We have been asked to reconcile the interests of businesses and employees with stringent public health requirements needed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

— Martin Levine, NPQ (5/26/20)

If a business is deemed essential, that ‘gives the employer much more discretion in terms of what they can ask employees to do’ [but it’s] a big gray area.’

— Sacramento Bee quoting James McGlamery, Esq. (3/20)

The comprehensive list ranges from first responders to restaurant delivery people and includes — yes — cannabis retail workers.

— CalMatters (3/20)

REFERENCES & RESOURCES

GO TO – HEALTH & SAFETY

Remote-Work Costs: Must Nonprofit Reimburse?

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Filing Deadlines Extended for Nonprofit Organizations

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UPDATE: The CARES Act and Nonprofits

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Some Good News: Funders are Stepping Up

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Nonprofit Board Meetings in an Emergency

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The Charitable Sector: COVID-19 Relief and Economic Stimulus Package

America's charities request $60 billion infusion of support to help the most vulnerable March 18, 2020 The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic facing the country is having a profound impact on the economy and has greatly expanded the need for charitable organizations to provide additional services in an unprecedented manner. At the same time, the economic downturn will undoubtedly result in a contraction in contributions and other sources of revenue which are the lifeblood of many charitable [...]

Coronavirus and Nonprofits: Challenges & Resources

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Funders Must Step Up – Right Now!

“Funders,” writes nonprofit blogger Vu Le, “this is the rainy day you have been saving up for.”  Recently, we wrote about Mr. Le’s earlier plea for America’s foundations to step up their payouts beyond the “five percent rule” in the federal tax code. In an article last summer, he characterized it as a moral imperative: The ethical argument for foundations to increase their annual payout rate beyond 5% (August 4, 2019). This morning, it’s a [...]

Small Business Association Disaster Loan Guidance and Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an existing program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, that extends disaster relief loans to small businesses, including nonprofits, to help alleviate economic injury caused by disasters.  On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the SBA announced that the program will be available to claims arising from COVID-19.  The SBA will work with state officials to offer loans of up to $2 million.  “These loans may be used to pay [...]