November 16, 2020

Change and COVID In The Air – Philadelphia Enacts New and Significant COVID Restrictions

What happened?

On Monday, November 16, the City of Philadelphia announced new COVID restrictions in the face of surging new cases.  The new restrictions include:

  • The prohibition of indoor dining;
  • New limitations on outdoor dining restricting groups to a maximum of four members of the same household;
  • Employees must work from home unless it is impossible to do so;
  • Retail establishments may remain open but with reduced capacity and mask requirements;
  • Indoor gatherings, including weddings and funerals are prohibited, and outdoor gatherings may be held but with reduced density and a prohibition on the serving of food and beverages;
  • Colleges, universities and high schools must move to online classes, while elementary, middle schools, child care and early childhood education are permitted in person if following Philadelphia Department of Public Health safety guidance.

Why you need to know about this?

The new restrictions will greatly impact employers and their workforces.  Just some of the challenges that employers will face include: reduced operations and work, enforcement of mask requirements for employees and customers, implication of telework and leave polices, and ensuring the safety of individuals and the continued viability of their business.  Employers who are not prepared or who run afoul of these new restrictions will face liability and the potential for costly penalties and litigation.

What should you do now?

Employers should immediately review their policies and procedures to ensure they are both compliant with the new restrictions and prepared to address their impact on business operations and their employees.  The new restrictions will have a significant and far-reaching impact on employers and implicate a wide range of critical employment law issues.  To learn more about these changes, and ensure your compliance, contact Hyland Levin Shapiro’s employment practice group.

If you have questions about this about this article, please contact Megan K. Balne at 856.355.2936 or or Michael G. Greenfield at 856.355.2931 or