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  • The Gerring Law Firm

Coronavirus Stay Home Order

People have been asking me how the Stay Home Order issued by St. Louis City and St. Louis County may impact their rights and jobs. These orders fall in line with many similar orders from around the country that discourage human contact. Both were issued by the health department in order to provide guidance to businesses in how to best stop the spread of the virus. Both seem carefully constructed to avoid impeding too much on civil rights.

Those who are in violation of the order will be looking at a misdemeanor ticket. Misdemeanors are punishable in the County by a fine not more than $100 and not less than $25 or imprisonment in the County Jail for not more than thirty (30) days. Saint Charles County has passed an ordinance to prevent this charge from staying on your record if convicted.

This Stay Home Order is not intended to give the police the power to pull over every vehicle they see on the road. While the police will be enforcing theses orders for obvious violations, I do not think they will be looking to hassle the average person. Go about your business as is necessary but be mindful of social distancing.

Many businesses seem to fall into one of the essential business exceptions of the Stay Home Order. Very few businesses are listed as non-essential and must close. Even if your job is an essential business, there is a chance that layoffs may occur as every industry in the economy has slowed.

If you are not able to work remotely, I would advise looking through the stay home order to find how your business may be connected to an exception. It may be useful to have that knowledge in case you need it. You will not need to carry around a note from an employer or "travel papers" as some are suggesting. I understand why companies are providing these to employees, but I think they are not necessary and may be contributing to public misunderstanding of what the Stay Home Order is.

While no one knows what the long-term economic consequences will be on the economy overall and on any industry, we do know that society will be slowing down for the foreseeable future.

Travel papers issued by employers are likely not needed. Use your best judgment in deciding whether or not you must leave the house during these challenging times.

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