By: Eric J. Wu, Esq.
On April 10, 2020, Los Angeles County issued its “Safer at Home Order for Control of COVID-19” (the “Order”). The Order amends and supersedes the previous orders issued throughout March 2020 and is meant to comply with Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20. It extends the temporary closure of all non-essential businesses through at least May 15, 2020.
The Order identifies 25 categories of businesses as “Essential Businesses,” including food banks and farmer’s markets, gas stations, banks and financial institutions, and public transportation services. Effective April 15, 2020, Essential Businesses are required to implement, distribute to employees, and post a “Social Distancing Protocol.”
The Social Distancing Protocol must be posted at or near the entrance of the relevant facility where it is easily viewable by the public and employees and must also be provided to each employee performing work at the facility. Essential Businesses should refer to a form attached to the Order as “Appendix A,” when creating their Social Distancing Protocol. The protocol must explain how the business will achieve the following:
- Limiting the number of people who may enter the facility at any one time to ensure that people in the facility can easily maintain, at all times, a minimum six (6) foot physical distance from others, except as required to complete an Essential Business Activity. Persons who are family members or household contacts, may stand or move together, but must be separated from others by a physical distance of at least six (6) feet.
- Where lines may form at a facility, marking six (6) foot increments at a minimum, establishing where individuals should stand to maintain adequate Social Distancing.
- Providing hand sanitizer, soap, and water, or effective disinfectant at or near the entrance of the facility and in other appropriate areas for use by the public and employees, and in locations where there is high-frequency employee interaction with members of the public (e.g. cashiers). Restrooms normally open to the public shall remain open to the public.
- Posting a sign in a conspicuous place at all public entries that instructs members of the public not to enter if they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever or cough, and to maintain Social Distancing from one another.
- Providing for the regular disinfection of high-touch surfaces, and disinfection of all payment portals, pens, and styluses after each use. Essential Businesses are encouraged to also offer touch-less payment mechanisms, if feasible.
- Providing cloth face coverings to employees and contracted workers whose duties require close contact (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more) with other employees and/or the public.
- Requiring that members of the public who enter the facility wear a face covering during their time in the facility.
- Adhere to communicable disease control recommendations provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, including guidance for cleaning and disinfecting the site. See guidance posted at publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/.
If you have any questions regarding these social distancing protocols, or any other employment-related legal issue, please contact Eric J. Wu.
Eric is a Partner in Leech Tishman’s LAX office, which is located in El Segundo, California. He practices in the firm’s Employment, Litigation, and Corporate Practice Groups. He can be reached at 424.738.4400 or email@example.com.
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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in alternative dispute resolution, aviation & aerospace, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, construction, corporate, employee benefits, employment, energy, environmental, estates & trusts, family law, government relations, immigration, insurance coverage & corporate risk mitigation, intellectual property, international legal matters, litigation, real estate, and taxation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Sarasota and Wilmington, DE.