Gas up the Bugatti for the commute! Pennsylvania has relaxed its private sector restrictions on teleworking.


Image by Martine Auvray from Pixabay

Come on, Eric! Yesterday, you blogged about Philly, and now this. What’s with all the Pennsylvania posts this week?

Ok, folks. I promise(ish). We’re (likely) done. In the remaining three posts, I’ll (probably) incorporate other states.

Like tomorrow, I want to blog about how Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, and Thurgood Marshall appear to be joined at the hip on religious accommodations.

Yes, Thurgood Marshall.

And on Friday, April 9, at Noon ET, when The Employer Handbook Zoom Office Hour returns, Meyling “Mey” Ly Ortiz and I will be addressing the rise in discrimination against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We’re also going to address the power of the mentor/mentee relationship during this pandemic. Click here to register.

But today, let’s give a shout-out to my friends that do business in PA.

Effective April 4 at 12:01 AM, the Commonwealth ended its prior mandate that all businesses operate remotely, unless impossible, through their employees’ individual teleworking. The new Order strongly encourages remote work and individualized teleworking plans but no longer requires telework for those that can.

Additionally, most “businesses serving the public” can now operate at up to 75% of maximum capacity.

The order is silent about those companies that don’t serve the public. That begs the question, if you don’t have a public-facing element of your business, at what capacity can it operate? In this FAQ, the Commonwealth says that “all businesses are strongly encouraged to conduct their operations in whole or in part remotely through individual teleworking of their employees in the jurisdiction or jurisdictions in which they do business.  Businesses choosing to conduct in-person business operations must comply with the Governor’s and the Secretary’s Amended Orders and relevant guidance.”

In other words,  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Businesses choosing to conduct in-person business operations must also comply with the new Order and whatever has not changed from the prior mandate that initially required remote work unless impossible.

Subject to certain religious exceptions, discrete events or gatherings within a larger business have size limits. Indoor events/gatherings are limited to 25% of the maximum capacity. Outdoor events/gatherings are limited to 50% of the maximum capacity.

All the rules and guidance on cleaning, mitigation, and other safety controls stay the same. Refer to this helpful PA FAQ for details. Additionally, nothing in the new mandate is meant to require office work for individuals needing remote work accommodations (e.g., workers with disabilities). Also, some localities like Philadelphia may have more stringent rules about telework.

There’s much more to the new order, but I’m approaching 500 words. So, you can read it for yourself and holler if you have any non-legal hypothetical questions.

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”
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