Now that Governor DeSantis has declared a State of Emergency because of Coronavirus (COVID-19) various sets of laws go into effect to protect the consuming public. It is important that you as both a consumer and as a business owner, operator, or key employee are aware of some of those laws.
What is a State of Emergency?
A State of Emergency is a declaration from a Governmental Authority (a Mayor on a city wide level, a Governor on a State wide level, or the President on a nationwide level) that due to a particular crisis the Governmental Authority shall have broad powers it might not otherwise have to respond to the crisis. Typically this means that certain laws automatically go into effect during a State of Emergency; while the enforcement of other laws may be suspended, relaxed, or increased. Each State of Emergency is slightly different depending on the circumstances (i.e the COVID-19 Emergency is slightly different than a State of Emergency due a hurricane). As an example, in this situation, physician licensing requirements may be modified due to a State of Emergency. Typically a physician is only authorized to practice medicine within states which they are licensed, but in an effort to help fight COVID-19 during a State of Emergency the licensing requirements may be suspended to allow a physician licensed in another state to practice in Florida to help address COVID-19. This is one of many examples. Another example may be the suspension of certain taxes as a result of the particular crisis.
As a Business, you need to know whether this State of Emergency Declaration materially impacts the regulations for your business. The State of Emergency may: (1) make certain laws go into effect which impact your business; or (2) suspend or increase laws which impact operations. We are here to help you to discuss how the State of Emergency may impact the regulations and operations for your business. If your business works in retail, restaurants/bars, events or healthcare, or if your business does work with governmental entities, this particular State of Emergency is especially likely to have significant impacts on your business. The State of Emergency will also impact employment laws.
Florida’s State of Emergency will remain in effect until April 09, 2020 or until otherwise suspended, extended, or modified. We are here if you have any questions.
This blog was written by Hunter Business Law Partner, Adam Hersh, Esq.
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