State “Shelter-in-Place” and “Stay-at-Home” Orders
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of states and localities have issued workplace restrictions as part of their efforts to prevent the spread of the disease. These “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” orders vary in scope and duration, but generally require businesses not considered “essential” to close their physical offices and continue their operations remotely.
Many of the orders list financial institutions as essential businesses and permit critical on site functions to continue, subject to limitations. Member firms should closely review the applicable state and locality orders’ impacts on their operations, and make any necessary changes.
To aid member firms, FINRA is providing a list of state orders of which FINRA is aware. While FINRA will update this list periodically as we become aware of changes, the situation is rapidly developing and firms should rely on their local authorities for the latest developments. If a member firm decides an employee is permitted to report to a physical office location, FINRA suggests that the employee carry documentation explaining that the employee works for an “essential” business, and why the employee’s work requires his or her physical presence in the office.
Several of the state orders, or guidance and FAQs issued in connection with the state orders, refer to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (“CISA”) Memorandum issued on March 19, 2020. CISA also issued an updated memorandum on March 28, 2020. CISA’s guidance identifies financial services workers as essential to continued infrastructure viability during this tumultuous time. In addition, on March 24, 2020, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin issued a statement that he “strongly support[s] the Department of Homeland Security’s recent guidance identifying financial services sector workers as essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 response emergency.”
To the extent that member firms are aware of state orders not listed below, please contact FINRA’s Office of Government Affairs at [email protected] with information regarding the orders.
List updated on 8/4/2020