Essential Business Info - Draft Letter for Identification of employees

FROM: Mark Thomas, Executive Vice President, Oklahoma Press Association
mthomas@okpress.com, 405-659-3966 mobile
Thursday, March 24, 2020

Today Governor Kevin Stitt issued an executive order about essential and non-essential businesses.   Currently the order is limited to 19 counties.  In the press conference the Governor referenced federal guidelines that are already in place.  Those federal guidelines are very lengthy and found in the Critical Infrastructure Security Act (CISA).   Fortunately, communications workers, critical infrastructure workers, and media services are included in the CISA.

To assist your newspaper employees and independent contractors we have prepared a draft letter (see download) for your voluntary use declaring your people as critical infrastructure and communications workers at your newspaper, including newsgathering, production and delivery workers.  

If you choose to use the letter you can copy it on your letterhead, insert the name of the worker and name of your newspaper, as well as contact information at the bottom of the letter if some authority wants to verify this person works for the newspaper.  Employees can carry the letter along with some personal identification and show it to local authorities if necessary.

In rural areas where newspaper employees are well known we do not expect many problems.  However, we felt you would want to be prepared if the Governor’s executive order expands to a statewide order or you are traveling to news coverage or distribution areas where your personnel are not as well-known.

Stay safe and continue to serve your readers during this crisis, just as you have done for many years.

»  Download Sample Letter for Essential Employees

»  Download Critical Structure Memo