March 24 E-news:  Updates, Emergency Orders, and Guidance:

ESSENTIAL SERVICES: On March 23, Governor Baker issued an emergency order ordering nonessential businesses and organizations to close their physical workspaces and facilities to customers, workers and the public. PRESS RELEASE | ORDER ESSENTIAL SERVICES LIST (Doc) | ASSEMBLAGE GUIDANCE

COVID-19 WEBINAR: What Massachusetts Retailers Need to Know about Employment Law and COVID19
On Thursday, March 26th at 11:00 AM EDT, RAM members are invited to join Attorney Joshua Nadreau from Fisher Phillips’ Boston office to discuss what Massachusetts retailers need to know in the ever-changing legal landscape surrounding employers’ responses to COVID-19.
Topics will include the following:

  • COVID-19 workplace issues, including health and safety, employee privacy, remote workers, discrimination/harassment, and workers’ compensation
  • Employees leaves, including the recently-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Layoffs and Furloughs – what is the difference and how do they impact wage-and-hour, unemployment eligibility, and health insurance?
  • Suspending Operations, WARN Act, Government-ordered shut-downs and other considerations

Members interested in participating are asked to register at the following link:

Unemployment Insurance Resources: Virtual Town Halls & COVID-19 Claims Handbook
To help with the increased demand on the unemployment system and the increased volume or your staff, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Unemployment Assistance will be hosting virtual town hall meetings Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. The events will take all who sign up through a step by step process of achieving a successful unemployment claim.  EOLWD and DUA will also be taking questions from claimants across the Commonwealth.  Applicants should file for benefits at .

Sign up information for the virtual town hall is available at

To further help claimants through the process of applying for benefits, EOLWD and DUA have made specific web page updates that include the latest guidance for employee qualifications and additional resources like contact forms and a COVID-19 specific unemployment claim handbook that can be viewed at

Grocery Store Employees Eligible for Emergency Child Care
ATTENTION GROCERY STORE MEMBERS, your employees may access emergency child care services recently established by the state.  Last week Governor Baker ordered the closure of Massachusetts child care centers starting March 23rd.  As part of the order a list of emergency child care sites have been established to provide emergency coverage to essential, frontline workers required to be on-site.  Grocery store employees have been identified by the state as one of the groups eligible for the emergency services.  The Department of Early Education and Care has issued the following list of providers offering emergency services.

During this critical time, please make sure you keep yourselves educated on the changes affecting your businesses, your employees and your customers.  We will keep our website up to date, and urge you to visit frequently.