NPGA ALERT: Updated Federal Essential Worker Guidance and Essential Worker Documentation

(March 29, 2020) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with other federal agencies, has published an updated version of guidance on “essential workers” for state and local authorities that have or are considering ‘shelter-in-place’ ordinances or similar restrictions on movement. 

Butane Propane News (BPN) is the propane industry repository for coronavirus COIVD-19 LPG industry news, federal guidelines for essential workers Version 2.0: Guidance Memo on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response

Version 2.0: Guidance on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response

Version 2.0 is more expansive, in general, and reorganized. The only change for our industry is the inclusion of language to more specifically identify propane gas equipment manufacturers and distributors as among the essential workforce. The updated guidance includes many propane employees under the sectors for Energy and Transportation and Logistics. Some employees may fall under other sectors listed in the guidance.

The Guidance on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers is not federally mandated and does not have the force of law. States/local ordinances must directly incorporate or name the guidance for it to apply. Some states/local ordinances, however, have developed similar definitions for “essential workers”. 

Proof of Essential Workers. Some NPGA members have asked how they can demonstrate to officials that certain propane industry employees qualify as essential workers. Currently, there is no federal guidance on what to provide, but FMCSA suggests ‘essential workers’ keep on-hand the applicable state/local ordinance and the federal guidance, if applicable. In addition, to respond to member requests, NPGA drafted two template  statements for ‘essential workers’ of the propane industry: one for operations in states/localities that directly incorporate the federal guidance; and one is for operations in states/localities that do not directly incorporate the federal guidance but instead created their own list of “essential workers.”

Companies should first confirm there is a state/local ordinance in place. Then:
  1. If the ordinance directly incorporates or names the federal Guidance on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers: Draft Statement Naming Federal Guidance
  2. If the ordinance does not incorporate or name the federal Guidance on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers, but details its own list of ‘essential workers’ to cover propane workers: Draft Statement Using State/Local List

The NPGA recommends that companies carefully review the details of the state/local ordinance to check the eligibility of each employee as an essential worker. The draft statements are available under COVID-19 Resources on the Membership Dashboard.

Please send questions or concerns about your state/local ordinance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NPGA State Engagement Program Manager. Please send questions or concerns about federal guidance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NPGA Deputy Counsel, Regulatory Affairs.

These documents are provided solely for informational purposes in response to COVID-19. They are not to be construed as legal advice or legal guidance. NPGA expressly disclaims any liability associated with the accuracy or content of the information contained in these documents. Users should consult the government authorities and resources for the most complete and current information pertaining to COVID-19 or contact an attorney for any specific advice.