March 25, 2020

Top COVID-19 questions and answers as "Stay Home" order goes into effect

By: Brian Mittge   Comments: 1
Gov. Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order goes into effect this evening, and employers have reached out to AWB with questions on how the rule will be implemented. 

Question: Which businesses are considered "essential"? 

Answer: Read this blog post to learn more and find out how to petition to be on the list. 


Question: Do employees or employers need paperwork or certification about their "essential" status to drive or leave their homes? 

Answer: Absolutely not. No permits are needed to travel to and from essential business locations. Lisa Brown, director of the Washington Department of Commerce, tweeted: "Let's smash this myth: There is NOT a pass or letter required for "essential" workers to prove it's okay to go to work right now."  


Question: Are there registration requirements for those deemed essential?

Answer: There is no need to register for workers or businesses that are deemed essential.


Question: My business is not listed as essential, so I have to close, right?

Answer: Not if all of your employees can work remotely. 


What questions do you have? Email with your questions and we'll try to find out answers. And be sure to check our COVID-19 Employer Resources page, which is fully updated with links and information for Washington businesses. 


Richard Pine Mar 27

We are a small business - 4 employees. We believe we are essential as defined by the Executive Order. We are continuing to operate and can provide appropriate social distancing. One employee would like not to come into work our of fear of the virus. They want to know what their options are. They do not have the virus and not currently sick. We want to support our employees in making difficult decisions. As far as I can tell, our PTO hours are the only help for this employee. I can't find any state or federal programs that would kick in if they just fear the virus. We could help by laying them off and then unemployment might be available. Have I got this right?