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Post: BIAW Interpretation of WA State Stay-at-Home Order

BIAW Interpretation of WA State Stay-at-Home Order

From Building Industry Association of Washington — Updated 03.25.20

At 5:30 p.m. on Monday (3/23/20), Gov. Inslee issued a stay-at-home order; this order takes effect on Wednesday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. and will go for at least two weeks. See the order here » This order is in addition to those already issued that limited or closed dine-in restaurants, schools, salons, and gyms with bans on gatherings of 10+ people.  

What does this new directive mean for home builders?

Today, Gov. Jay Inslee issued official guidance that “construction is not considered an essential activity” in the Stay-at-Home Order he announced on Monday. As a result, all construction – residential and commercial – must shut down during the two weeks in which the order is in place.  Beginning at midnight, Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2020, when the order takes effect, no construction will be allowed until at least April 8, 2020. The only exception for residential construction is for emergency repairs. The order could also be extended.  

Gov. Inslee is one of only two governors who have issued a statewide “Stay at Home” order that does not designate housing construction as “essential.” Section 3 (Point d) of the Order does allow businesses to secure their job sites and equipment following the order taking effect tonight: 

“For purposes of this Proclamation, minimum basic operations are the minimum activities necessary to maintain the value of the business’ inventory, preserve the condition of the business’ physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences, and related functions.” 

Employers should also provide employees with a letter with your company name, contact, and statement that they are your employees working on your construction job site. Workers should always have the letter and their employee identification on them when commuting to and from job sites. Businesses not included in the list of essential services are required to have employees work remotely. 

For additional resources on COVID-19, please visit BIAW’s resource page »Any questions? Please contact Jan Himebaugh, janh@biaw.com or 425-577-1518.


We are also including a memo received from our general counsel at BIAW.

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