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Florida’s “Stay-at-Home” Order and What it Means for Businesses

On April 1, 2020, in response to the State’s ongoing efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91, which is a State-wide “Stay-at-Home” Order. The Order goes into effect Friday, April 3, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and expires on April 30, 2020, unless extended by subsequent order (the full text of the Order is available here). 

What does the Stay-at-Home Order actually say?

The Stay-at-Home Order provides, in relevant part, that:

  • Senior citizens and individuals with significant underlying medical conditions shall stay at home, and take all measures necessary to limit their exposure to COVID-19; and
  • All persons in Florida shall limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.

What are considered Essential Services

As of now, the Order defines "essential services" to include:

  • The services detailed in the Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, v. 2 (March 28, 2020), issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (full text of DHS’s guidance available here); and
  • The services designated as “essential” by Executive Order 20-89, which incorporates a detailed list promulgated by the Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 07-20, as amended (full text of Executive Order 20-89 available here).

The Governor has directed the State Coordinating Officer (“SCO”) to publish an exhaustive list of all qualifying “essential services” that will be available on the Division of Emergency Management’s website at www.floridadisaster.org and the Florida Department of Health’s website at www.floridahealth.gov

As of April 2, 2020, the SCO’s list has not been published.However, generally speaking, the categories of private-sector industries that are deemed “essential” under EO 20-91 include, but are not limited to: (i) Heath Care; (ii) Transportation and Logistics; (iii) Energy; (iv) Food and Agriculture; (v) Communications and Information Technology; (vii) Manufacturing; and (viii) Commercial Facilities.

What if it is unclear if my business is providing an “essential service”?

The guidance and regulations are continuing to be updated daily, and our team at BMD is closely monitoring this ever-evolving situation. Therefore, if you are not sure whether your business is considered “essential,” or if you have any other questions regarding the Stay-at-Home Order or any other COVID-19 related questions, please contact Matt Jackson, Josh La Bouef or Cody Westmoreland in our Jacksonville office at 904.366.1500, as we are standing by ready to help you and your business navigate the challenges we are all facing.

BMD Appellate Win Clarifies Waiver of Contractual Right to Arbitrate

Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC attorneys David M. Scott, Lucas K. Palmer, and Krista D. Warren prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding if/when a party waives a contractual right to arbitrate. Borror Property Management, LLC v. Oro Karric North, LLC, No. 20-3146 (the “Decision”).

Relief for Ohio Under the Federal American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.

Cleveland Manufacturer Violated OFAC Sanctions By Allowing Shipments To Iran - Know Your Customer and Know Their Customer

UniControl, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of process controls, airflow pressure switches, boiler controls and other instruments, agreed to pay the Office of Foreign Assets Control “OFAC,” the financial enforcement agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, $216,464 to settle its liabilities for violations of the Iran Sanctions Program. OFAC stated that “this enforcement action highlights the importance of identifying and assessing multiple warning signs that indicate a foreign trade partner may be re-exporting goods to a sanctioned jurisdiction.”

Ohio Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations Shortened to 6 Years

On March 16, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law S.B. 13 which shortens Ohio’s statute of limitations for filing lawsuits based on breach of contract. A statute of limitation is the time period within which a party must file a lawsuit before its claim expires as a matter of law.

Chinese Product Tariff Challenge Causes Flurry of Importer Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed late in 2020 at the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) challenging the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) implementation of Section 301 “List 3” and “List 4” duties on products from China, HMTX Industries LLC et al. v. United States (Court No. 20-00177), has resulted in the filing of thousands of additional lawsuits brought by other affected importers. There are now 3,700+ companies added to the list, including Ford, Home Depot, Target, Tesla, and Walgreens, along with many other smaller importers.