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Arizona Governor Issues Executive Order Defining “Essential Functions”; No Shelter-In-Place Order Yet


In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, Arizona Governor Ducey just issued Executive Order 2020-12 in which he defined “Essential Functions” in the State of Arizona and further prohibited any counties, cities, or towns from issuing any local orders requiring the closure of the defined “Essential Functions.”

Arizona’s Essential Functions

Governor Ducey designated the below categories as “Essential Functions” and mandated that employees in these sectors be permitted to continue working in Arizona if any shelter in place laws are enacted:

What This Means for Businesses

While Governor Ducey has not yet issued a shelter-in-place order, this Executive Order leaves open the possibility of Arizona counties, cities, and/or towns implementing their own shelter in place requirements – provided that the defined “Essential Functions” are not impacted. Governor Ducey’s Order further states that any shelter-in-place orders must be consistent with advice from the Arizona Department of Health Services. The Order provides that businesses providing “Essential Functions” can allow employees to telework as a way to conduct essential operations as long as there is no interruption in essential services or operations.

In response to this Order, businesses should take steps now to ensure continuity of business operations should a shelter-in-place order be enacted. Such steps should include ensuring that communication channels are in place for relaying any future work restrictions and considering remote working arrangements.


For now, we will continue to monitor the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Alert System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, any attorney in our Phoenix office, or any member of our COVID-19 Taskforce. You can also review our nationwide Comprehensive and Updated FAQs for Employers on the COVID-19 Coronavirus and our FP Resource Center For Employers, maintained by our Taskforce.

This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific state law. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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