The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has provided a list of state-ordered workplace restrictions in response to the pandemic.

Many of the shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders include financial institutions as essential businesses, notes Finra, and permit critical onsite functions to continue subject to limitations. Finra suggests that member firms should closely review the applicable state and local order impacts on their operations and make any necessary changes.

Finra noted that the orders vary in scope and duration, but generally require businesses not considered essential to close their physical offices and continue their operations remotely. A majority of the orders, which were issued in late March, have since been extended.

Several states such as California, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina have begun to open.

New York, the hardest hit state, listed an extended expiration date for stay-at-home orders of May 15, and New Jersey did not list an extended date. The situation is rapidly developing, according to Finra, and firms should rely on their local authorities for the latest developments. The regulator said it will periodically update the list as it becomes aware of changes.

In the meantime, Finra suggests that if a member firm decides an employee is permitted to report to a physical office location, the employee carry documentation explaining his or her “essential” status, and why it is important to physically work from the office.

Finra explained that several of the guidelines issued in connection with the state orders, refer to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (“CISA”) Memorandum issued on March 19, 2020. CISA also issued an updated memorandum on March 28, which identified financial services workers as essential. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin also issued a statement supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s guidance identifying financial services sector workers as “essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 response emergency.”

Finra is asking member firms to contact FINRA’s Office of Government Affairs at [email protected] with any updated information they become aware of regarding the orders.

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