On March 13, 2020, Governor Sununu declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, and since then he has been issuing “emergency orders” affecting workplaces. He has the power to do this under RSA 4:45 and 47, authorizing him to “make orders” that are “necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population.”
On May 1, 2020, the Governor ordered specific requirements for “essential businesses,” businesses permitted to remain operational during the state of emergency.
The Governor ordered, for the protection of employees, all “essential businesses” must:
- require sick employees to stay home
- ask employees questions prior to entry, regarding contact with COVID-diagnosed persons and COVID symptoms
- Sanitize touch surfaces every two hours
- Instruct employees to “social distance”
- Encourage frequent hand washing/sanitation
- Support employee use of a face covering
- Permit employees to work from home as much as is practical
- Update employee policies, to comply with new federal laws that provide for employee leave time, for COVID-related reasons.
The Governor ordered that employees, meanwhile, have the express duty to comply with the above employer directives.
These “universal” requirements for essential businesses are in place in New Hampshire at least until June 15, 2020. The Governor has also issued industry-specific orders, which carry the same weight of authority.
If you have questions regarding Covid-19 requirements, in our workplace, please contact our office for a free consultation. Call 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form.