Hobby Lobby in Colo. remains open despite stay-at-home order

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR/CNN) - Colorado has ordered non-essential businesses to shut their doors for the time being because of coronavirus.

A Hobby Lobby employee in Colorado quit because the store said it was essential and remained open. (Source: KDVR/CNN)

But the state's attorney general's office says they've received more than 700 tips of businesses violating the stay-at-home order.

One Hobby Lobby employee quit after his store remained open.

"On the Saturday previous, they told us we were essential," said Michael Fair, the former employee. "I asked my manager how we were essential. He did not give me an answer."

Fair quit his job at the store in Lakewood on Monday.

"I no longer felt that this company was protecting its employees," he said.

He held the job for seven years. Fair no longer must fear for his job, but dozens of employees who reached out said they felt unsafe going to work but were afraid that speaking out could cost them their employment.

"I kind of did what I felt was right," Fair said. "I wouldn't advise anyone else to do what I did."

Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment said Hobby Lobby is non-essential.

"I don't believe they're taking the time to properly analyze each state's legal definition of essential, and instead they're just saying they are," Fair said. "And that's causing a lot of problems."

Hobby Lobby stores in Denver and Johnstown have been shut down by local counties. Fair said they had people from Denver coming to the Lakewood store.

A memo obtained from store operations suggested examples for why they're essential, including selling educational supplies or materials to make personal protective equipment.

"I just don't believe Hobby Lobby is doing this in a humane way," Fair said.

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