200408 uniformessentialworkerdocumentation leos


April 08, 2020


Dear Chief Casstevens, Sheriff Hall, Attorney General Fox, and Mr. Rinchich:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce requests your organizations consult with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create guidance and concepts for credentials for essential workers, which would help ensure that the American business community can maximize its contribution to fight the COVID pandemic.

Americans depend on the private sector to produce, transport, and deliver food, medicines, and protective equipment, to maintain essential equipment and infrastructure, and to provide needed services.

We believe that guidance to law enforcement agencies and a uniform credential would diminish a lack of clarity of what constitutes critical businesses and essential workers in state and local public health and safety orders.

The Chamber supports the Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, developed by the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), that many governors and local leaders have adopted or incorporated by reference. This guidance identifies “essential critical infrastructure workers” who should remain exempt from quarantine or stay-at-home orders because they fall within defined categories that CISA has deemed essential to continuity of public health, safety, and economic and national security. CISA has designed the guidance to be a living document and is updating it as circumstances dictate.

We encourage you to work with CISA and other agencies of governments to develop a uniform model of documentation that can be broadly adopted across all states and localities. Such documentation would ensure that essential businesses and their employees do not face interruptions or penalties as they undertake their responsibilities to defeat the pandemic.

Thank you for your attention to this concern and your ongoing leadership. We stand ready to work with you, and we appreciate the strong work of your members to protect Americans throughout this crisis.


Thomas J. Donohue


  1. Multi-association letter to National Governors Association Urging Uniform Model Guidance to Help Recognize Essential Businesses and Employees (March 26, 2020)
  2. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Letter on CISA Guidance on Shelter-in-Place Orders (March 20, 2020)
  3. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Letter to the President on Essential Infrastructure and Essential Businesses and Services (March 18, 2020)

cc: Mr. Christopher C. Krebs, Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

The Honorable Larry Hogan, Chair, National Governors Association

The Honorable Andrew Cuomo, Vice Chair, National Governors Association

200408 uniformessentialworkerdocumentation leos