COVID-19 Virus Legislation to revive the Economy

By Frank C. Sluzis, Esq.

The COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc on the Pennsylvania economy. Each day that the Governor’s COVID-19 Business Closure Order continues, more businesses are faced with the hard realities of surviving the emergency. In an attempt to halt the economic disaster facing businesses the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are considering bills to revive certain sectors of the economy.

The following pieces of legislation are either pending or voted out of the House State Government Committee:

House Bill 2376 which has been voted out of committee would prohibit the Governor from closing a retail store during a declaration of disaster emergency if the retail store (1) restricts access to one customer at a time and (2) restricts store operations to one employee in the retail store facility at a time.

House Bill 2388 which is pending in the committee would require the issuance of waivers to the Governor’s COVID-19 Business Closure Order to all vehicle dealer activities that can adhere to the social distancing practices and other mitigating measures as defined by the Centers for Disease Control to protect workers and to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

House Bill 2389 which is pending in committee would create the Healthy Back-to Work Act. Under this legislation businesses closed pursuant to the Governor’s order can resume normal business operations if, among other things, they comply with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety Health Administration. Businesses must also do the following: (1) implement a paid sick leave policy for COVID-19 inflicted employees; (2) ensure that there is a minimum of six feet between employees, and an employee and an individual on the site of the business; (3) implement sanitary policies and a regular cleaning schedule; and (4) limit interaction with individuals who are not employees.

As the crisis continues and businesses are forced to remain closed, more proposed legislation is expected to move into committee. We will continue to keep you up to date with any and all such actions.



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