What is a non-essential state employee?

At RMG we’re wondering, what exactly is the definition of a non-essential state employee? Mass.gov refers to them as “non-emergency” employees. Whatever that means. If they’re non-essential why are they employed at all? Would you feel slighted if you were labeled “non-essential”? The author, half-jokingly, says anyone without a gun or badge is non-essential.

So, what is a non-essential state employee?  

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