The Need for Businesses to Accommodate At-Risk Customers | Executive Order Under COVID-19

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In addition to the Minnesota Governor’s May 13, 2020 Executive Order related to the Safe Reopening of Minnesota’s Economy, the Minnesota governor issued an Executive Order the same day that also warrants attention by businesses providing in-person services to customers.

In Executive Order 20-55, the Minnesota Governor ordered the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development to issue guidance necessary for private and public businesses to provide accommodations to at-risk customers by adjusting times, services, and manner of delivering goods and services to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. The Executive Order is called Protecting the Rights and Health of At-Risk Populations during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.

At-risk persons include people who are:

  • 65 years and older.
  • Living in a nursing home or a long-term care facility, as defined by the Commissioner of Health.
  • Any age with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including people
    • With chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.
    • With serious heart conditions.
    • Who are immunocompromised (caused by cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, or prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications).
    • With severe obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher).
    • Who are diabetic.
    • With chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis.
    • With liver disease.

While we wait for further details and guidance from the State on this new requirement, it may be prudent for businesses to begin planning for this new accommodation requirement. If you have any questions or need assistance on this planning, feel free to contact us. At Barna, Guzy & Steffen, we have been tailoring how we provide services to our clients based on their special needs and circumstances for over 80 years.


Scott Lepak is a shareholder practicing in employment law. His recent practice has included a significant focus on COVID-19 planning and the application of the various federal and state requirements to Minnesota businesses.

About Scott M. Lepak

Scott Lepak is a Shareholder at BGS and practices in the areas of Labor, Employment and Municipal law. He has been representing employers on labor and employment matters since 1987 including acting as general counsel, chief labor negotiator and lead counsel in arbitrations and litigation. Author of a treatise on the Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act, Scott is a frequent speaker on labor and employment law issues across the state. He also serves as City Attorney for St. Francis and Becker. Scott is an avid fisherman in his spare time.

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