Dvorak calls on governor to clarify stay at home order

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SOUTH BEND — State Representative Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend) today called for Governor Holcomb to provide important clarifications to the state stay at home order contained in Executive Order 20-08.

“I am glad the Governor has stepped up and issued such an important order,” said Dvorak. “but sweeping action like this will inevitably create confusion and problems of implementation.”

Dvorak said many employees have questions about who exactly is deemed an essential employee. Some have even reported concerns about employers who seem to be trying to circumvent the order, and are requiring non-essential employees to report for work.

“We have thousands of scared people who need clarity and direction right now,” said Dvorak. “People don’t want to get themselves or their family sick, but they also don’t want to face reprisals from employers for staying home during this emergency.”

Dvorak said the most pressing issues that need to be addressed are:

  1.       Employers in non-essential industries are telling employees that their work is essential, and they need to report to work in spite of the stay at home order. There is no recourse for these employees who don’t want to get sick, and also don’t want to be fired.
  2.       Employers in essential industries that had been allowing employees to work from home before the order are using the Executive Order to require those employees to come back in to work. This cannot have been the intent of the order.
  3.       Local units of government are formulating their own local enforcement and penalty plans without coordination from the state.

To remedy these problems, Dvorak says the Governor should immediately:

  1.       Clarify penalties for violations of the stay at home order;
  2.       Specify how enforcement of the order will take place;
  3.       Provide a hotline and website for employees to report employer violations of the stay at home order, and seek clarification and adjudication from the Indiana Department of Labor for unclear applications of the order; and
  4.       Provide clear guidance to local units of government on how to respond to the order.

“We still have important public health problems that need to be addressed and time is of the essence,” Dvorak continued. “I am still concerned about the allocation of resources to providers, the lack of testing, and the capacity for peak hospitalizations.

“I know the Governor is committed to working together on this public health emergency and the economic effects that it will continue to have on our state. I am asking for quick action on this front so that we can get people better information and protect them during this pandemic.”

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