What does the December 8th Rollback Mean for Massachusetts Employers?

On December 8, 2020, Governor Charles Baker issued COVID-19 Order No. 58, which returns all of Massachusetts to Step 1 of Phase 3 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, effective December 13, 2020.   As a result, all “Phase 3, Step 2” business that were recently permitted to open (indoor performance venues and high-contact indoor recreational activities) must now close their brick-and-mortar premises.  In addition, all other business that may remain open may only operate pursuant to Step 1 Sector-Specific COVID-19 workplace safety rules.

The Order provides that revised Sector-Specific COVID-19 workplace safety rules shall be issued.  In the meantime, the Governor’s press release indicates that capacity for offices will be reduced from 50% to 40% and that employees in offices must wear masks at all times, unless they are alone in their own workspace.  In addition, employers are encouraged to close or limit the use of all break rooms and to offer teleworking to employees when possible.

We will continue to monitor and provide updates when the revised Sector-Specific COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules are issued.

About Amanda Marie Baer

Amanda Marie Baer is a Senior Associate in the firm's Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group.  Amanda focuses her practice on representing employers in federal and state courts and before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Amanda defends employers against claims concerning discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, interference, and accommodations.  Amanda also has experience in conducting workplace investigations into allegations of discrimination or harassment, and litigating to enforce (or defend claims regarding) employment, noncompetition/nonsolicitation, and severance agreements. Amanda's litigation experience makes her a valuable resource for employers seeking counsel on a myriad of day-to-day human resources issues and/or employment actions.
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