GOVERNOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES BEGINNING OF PHASE 2 REOPENING FOR CERTAIN BUSINESSES
On May 7, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will move into Stage 2 of modifying the State’s Stay-at-Home order. Beginning Friday, May 8, retail businesses, such as bookstores, clothing stores, toy stores and florists, can begin to reopen subject to specific guidelines issued by the Department of Public Health. Manufacturers and logistics sectors (i.e., warehouses and deliveries) that support those retail businesses can also begin to reopen subject to specific guidelines. Businesses in other industries, however, should begin to prepare now to follow industry specific guidelines before they can reopen.
Retail businesses can reopen for curbside pickup starting Friday, May 8. But to do so, those businesses must develop contactless payment procedures, have hand sanitizer available for employees and customers, ensure employees have proper protective gear, and ask employees to deliver goods to customers’ cars when possible.
Manufacturers and logistics sectors supporting these retail businesses can reopen as long as workers can maintain physical distancing and have access to face coverings and/or gloves. Break rooms should be closed and replaced with outdoor break areas with spaced out seating, where possible.
Although Governor Newsom’s latest announcement regarding the roadmap for gradual modifications to the statewide Executive Order and the transition to Stage 2 marks an exciting time for employers as they look to begin to recall employees back to work, planning and preparing remains key. There are many legal requirements, including safety checklists and plans, that must be prepared and implemented before a business can begin to re-open and operate lawfully.
With respect to the above industry-specific guidance and checklists, employers must implement these protocols and procedures prior to recalling employees back to work. These industry-specific guidelines and checklists can be found here.
As a general matter, before reopening, all facilities must:
- Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
- Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
- Implement individual control measures and screenings
- Implement disinfecting protocols; an
- Implement physical distancing guidelines.
Again, it is critical that employers plan and prepare for significant modifications to the workplace to ensure the health and safety of all employees before bringing employees back to work.
If your business is considering re-opening, contact us for further guidance on whether your business can lawfully open, strategies for how to recall employees from furloughs, and additional guidance on planning and preparing to provide your employees with a safe and healthy workplace.