On April 23, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker made an important announcement governing small businesses and the stay-at-home order the state currently has in effect. Illinois will extend its stay-at-home order through May 30, 2020. The new order includes some important changes and will take effect on May 1.
One of the biggest changes requires modification to individual behavior. Many municipalities have instituted this change already, but now all Illinoisans are required to wear a face covering or mask in public situations where they are not able to maintain a distance of six feet from others. The face covering can be as simple as a cloth scarf and the exception is for anyone under the age of two.
In addition to the above, the State is also making some changes that will undoubtedly impact small businesses. Below is a list of some of these additional changes to the stay-at-home order:
- Golf courses will be permitted to re-open under “strict safety guidelines,” so long as proper social distancing is followed on the course.
- Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. Animal grooming services may also re-open. In addition to following social distancing requirements, they must require employees and customers to wear a face covering.
- Retail stores that are not designated as essential businesses and operations may re-open but only to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.
- Some Illinois State Parks will open their doors, although visitors will still need to follow social distancing guidelines. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted.
- Schools and educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings.
- Surgery-centers and hospitals will be allowed to offer certain elective surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions. Facilities will need to meet specific criteria, including testing surgery patients to ensure they don’t have COVID-19.
- Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers.
- This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.
Given these changes, it is important to be cognizant of these laws to ensure protection against liability. We can assist you during this difficult time as Tressler LLP recognizes that each business will have diverse needs, and we are available to help you develop a plan or policy, evaluate your business records and otherwise assist your business responsibly and legally get back to work. Only through proactive planning and careful execution, will your business mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
I am available to develop client-based goals and implement solutions for your business (even on a remote basis, if appropriate). Feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (312) 627-4052.
About Matthew J. O’Malley
Matt is a member of Tressler's Litigation Practice Group and advises his clients on litigation strategies, skillfully representing them through all phases of litigation. Matt has a track record of success in both bench and jury trials. He focuses on the client’s resolution goals, whether that is achieved through trial, settlement conference, mediation or arbitration. Matt serves his clients in a variety of complex litigated and non-litigated matters, including actions for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, indemnity and contribution, professional malpractice, personal injury, general corporate, LGBT issues, employment discrimination and civil rights violations.
About Tressler LLP
Tressler LLP is a national law firm headquartered in Chicago, with eight offices located in five states - California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Tressler attorneys are experienced counselors and advocates who appear in state and federal courts, and in governmental proceedings, throughout the United States. Many Tressler attorneys devote their practice to the representation of the insurance industry in coverage analysis and resolution, litigation, underwriting consultation, product development, claims management and reinsurance. Tressler attorneys also represent clients in commercial litigation, employment, local government law, corporate transactions and intellectual property law. Contact us to learn more. Contact us to learn more.