19 May 2020
Hotel Lawyer on opening our country back up — California update
As California lawmakers release new guidance on easing stay-at-home restrictions, many employers are wondering how they can safely begin to reopen their businesses. In their latest update, JMBM’s Labor & Employment Group discuss the four phases of reopening and what employers can expect as they implement new workplace requirements. – Jim
California Employers’ Road Map to Reopening the Physical Workplace
In only two months, California employers have experienced an unprecedented disruption to business and the adoption and implementation of myriad new laws aimed at remedying the economic effects of COVID-19 and limiting its spread. But even now, as California lawmakers from the Governor to local mayors agree that it is time for California to get back to doing business, there is great uncertainty as to when and how this can safely occur.
The process will obviously be gradual and subject to reversal at any time. Business operations will eventually return to full capacity, but the workplace will be different for months, if not years, to come as a result of new laws and the nature of the pandemic crisis itself.
When it comes to employee matters, how can an employer best develop a plan to navigate the uncertainty of emergency orders restricting operations, new laws and regulations, and an entirely new business environment?
We suggest that employers work with their professionals to implement their own four phase plan:
- Determine when your business can lawfully reopen and to what extent
- Assess how the timing of bringing employees back affects the risks and costs associated with reopening your business
- Identify any limitations on your discretion to choose which employees to bring back and when
- Understand new workplace requirements and create systems to implement them
- Current California, industry-specific guidance on the steps employers should take once they are permitted to open per county health rules
- Industry guidance for counties that have received state approval to move faster into stage two
- Guidance specific to Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County, including the most current Safer at Home Order, and protocols for businesses that are permitted to reopen under the Order
- Employer resources specific to San Francisco City and County
- Employer resources specific to Orange County
- Up to date guidance on reopening issued by the CDC