Do Minnesotan Employers Still Need a Preparedness Plan If Masks Are Out?

Yes, at least for now.

Governor Walz’s recent Executive Order that rescinded the state-wide requirement to wear facemasks was silent on Minnesota employers’ obligations to implement and enforce a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.  Therefore, Minnesota employers remain subject to the prior Executive Orders that require all critical and non-critical businesses to have a Preparedness Plan in place.

If an employer decides to lift its own restrictions and allow employees to work without masks, then appropriate changes to their Preparedness Plans should be made.  And even if an employer continues to require masks, now is a good time to review your Preparedness Plan to ensure that it reflects current best practices established by the State of Minnesota, the CDC, OSHA, and the specific needs of your organization.  A lot has changed since employers drafted and implemented Preparedness Plans a year ago.  An out of date Plan that does not reflect current standards may cause confusion among employees as to what rules to follow, or may cause employees to ignore your Preparedness Plan altogether because they believe it is a relic of the past.  Also, given all of these recent changes, clear communication to employees about workplace rules and expectations is a must.

Bottom Line

Further changes on this front is a certainty, but for now, all Minnesota employers are required to have a Preparedness Plan in place and they should consult with their Felhaber employment attorney to review their past plan to determine whether and what changes should be made to reflect recent guidance from the State of Minnesota and the CDC.