News Detail

MAT Staff May 1, 2020

A Framework for Safely Returning to Work

A framework for safely returning to work

Today, Governor Tim Walz reviewed a framework for evaluating when it is safe to reopen a variety of workplace, social, and educational environments in Minnesota. That framework takes into consideration a number of health, economic, and social factors – and applies them to a variety of settings that have varying levels of predictability and size considerations.

As part of that framework, he issued Executive Order 20-40, which provides a limited first step in the process of safely returning to work, beginning only with workers at non-Critical Sector industrial, manufacturing and office-based businesses that are non-customer facing.

There are 2.6 million Minnesotans working right now. EO 20-40, developed in consultation with thousands of business leaders, labor leaders, and public health experts, will allow around 20,000 businesses and roughly 80,000 – 100,000 workers to go back to work beginning on Monday, April 27.

In order to reopen, EO 20-40 requires these business to do three things:

  1. Create and share with their employees a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that explains the actions they are taking to ensure social distancing and keep workers safe. The Department of Labor and Industry has created a template plan, which is optional for businesses to use as a starting point.
  2. Engage in health screening of employees each day at arrival
  3. Continue to use telework whenever possible

DEED will also be hosting two webinars on EO 20-40 with presenters who will talk through the process of returning workers in industrial and office-based business back to work. Join the conversation here at the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, April 23 from 4 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 24 from 11:30am – 12:30 p.m.

For now, the Stay at Home order remains in place until May 18, and we should all continue to limit travel to essential needs only. We have made progress on slowing the spread of COVID-19, and we need to continue to practice social distancing to save lives.

We are continuing to listen to feedback from businesses and workers about how to implement social distancing practices in their workplaces – and if you have ideas, we encourage you to submit them here.

For more information about EO 20-40, including what it means for businesses and workers and a number of FAQs and additional information, please visit https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/. We’ll continue to update that site with content and information you need to know.

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