New guidance from Department of Homeland Security on “essential” employees includes vehicle replacement parts

Members should note that this is only guidance and is not preemptive of a state emergency order. However, many states have referenced the CISA guidance, and therefore this is clearly an important development.


Auto Care Association members, especially manufacturers, should be advised that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration (CISA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has revised its March 19 guidance to states for determining employees that are considered “essential” for the purposes of shut down orders.

While auto repair was originally considered essential under the guidelines, CISA has now added new language into the definition of “Critical Manufacturing” that now should include vehicle replacement parts. Specifically, the new definition defines critical manufacturers as: 

“Manufacturing of materials and products needed for medical supply chains, and for supply chains associated with transportation, energy, communications, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, the operation of dams, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base. Additionally, workers needed to maintain the continuity of these manufacturing functions and associated supply chains.”

Members should note that this is only guidance and is not preemptive of a state emergency order. However, many states have referenced the CISA guidance, and therefore this is clearly an important development. 

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Members can find the entire CISA document here or on the Auto Care Association website.

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