Can My Employer Keep Me Past City Curfew?

The short answer to this question is “yes”. Of course, telecommuting is preferable. If the work can be done from home, the employer and employee should discuss options to prevent complications that arise due to situations such as the current lockdowns or city-wide protests.

Do keep in mind that factors such as business expenses vary by state whether they are reimbursable by the employer. The processes for tracking attendance and upholding performance standards for exempt employees should be planned out.

If it is necessary to come in for work, note that, so far, in each state that has instituted a curfew due to “social unrest”, commuting to or from work is still allowed. To avoid confusion, and keep your employees safe, create a letter for each employee on the company letterhead to keep in their car when traveling to and from work. It is as simple as modifying the standard letter used for essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, which you may refer to below.


[Disclaimer: Businesses should consult the relevant guidelines to determine whether they are an essential business.]


[Employee Name and Address]

To whom it may concern:

The employee identified above is employed by [Name of Business], which [Describe services your business provides] and is continuing operations at [Address of Business] during {the shelter-in-place order as an essential business under the relevant law. } OR {the times at which the city has instituted a curfew}.

[Company name] is committed to complying with the relevant requirements and appreciates your assistance in enabling our employees to continue to provide business functions to the community. This employee generally works a schedule of [X to X] and this letter does not apply to time outside of normal working hours. If you have any questions, please contact me at the number below.



[Name of Executive]

[Phone Number]

About the author, Rhamy

Rhamy grew up watching and working with his mother and grandmother in the senior insurance market. This familiarity with the struggles faced by people trying to navigate the incredibly complicated and heavily regulated healthcare market led him to start Poplar Financial while working on his degree at the University of Memphis. After completing his MBA and Bachelors in Finance and Economics, Rhamy guided Poplar Financial through the disruptive opportunity that is the Affordable Care Act. Since then Poplar Financial has received numerous awards from major insurance carriers and has completed its fourth year in a row of doubling in size. Now his team focuses on the processes around human resources and specializes in providing companies with between 20 and 1000 employees with the payroll, benefits, and HR needs.

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