Contractor Update: Do Employees Need To Carry Proof of Working for a Critical Sector Business?

UPDATE 03/27/20: After publishing the content below, Gov. Tim Walz has specifically stated that employees do not need to carry any form of letter or other documents. Read the full FAQ section HERE.

Construction “of all kind” has been listed as a Critical Sector and exempt under the recent Stay at Home order issued by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on March 25, 2020 (“Stay at Home Order”). Based on this, construction employees may continue to leave their homes for work provided their jobs cannot be done at home through remote means.

This raises the question of whether those employees who will continue to work outside of their homes must carry proof that they are allowed to be outside. In my opinion they do not. It is extremely unlikely that employees would ever be questioned by authorities about why they are out of their homes unless it is related to another issue, such as being pulled over for speeding.

The Stay at Home Order is essentially an honor system and it should not be necessary for people to carry “papers” saying they can be outside. There are many reasons we can leave our homes under the Stay at Home Order (groceries, pharmacy, doctor, etc.) and working at a Critical Sector business is only one of them. I do not anticipate that state troopers will be pulling over all cars on the highway or setting up roadblocks asking drivers why they are outside.

If employees are ever questioned, I recommend they simply say they are working for a construction industry business, which is a “critical business” under the Stay at Home Order.

If you have questions or concerns about how the Minnesota Stay at Home Order or COVID-19 in general will affect your construction business or employees, we are here to help. Please contact Blake Nelson, Chair of the Hellmuth & Johnson Construction Law Group, at either 952-746-2131 or [email protected].