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“Essential Business” Designations Expanded By Federal Advisory Memo

3.30.20

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) just issued an updated memorandum listing the industries that contain the Essential Infrastructure Workforce – and it contains good news for many businesses that can now consider themselves part of this critical designation.

This is an important development because CISA’s original March 19, 2020 list of the 16 essential industries provided a blueprint for states, cities, and counties in creating their lists of essential businesses that would not be subject to shelter in place orders. Some governments, in fact, directly referenced the March 19 CISA Memorandum as forming the basis for their essential business designations, while others used it as a starting point to generate their own lists of essential businesses. Regardless, the fact that CISA has updated the Memorandum is a significant development because of the importance it has occupied since being promulgated.

Significant Changes

Some of the key changes to the Memorandum are the following:

Conclusion

Overall, CISA expanded the list of essential businesses significantly. The revised Memorandum reflects that a number of business groups have provided input in the past week regarding essential services that they provide, and that CISA addressed the myriad issues that have arisen since it first issued a Memorandum on essential businesses on March 19. 

Fisher Phillips and the Fisher Phillips Essential Business Task Force 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, or any member of our Essential Business or 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 developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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