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California Places More COVID-19 Related Restrictions on Businesses and Employers

On July 1, 2020, as a result of rapid increases in the number of COVID-19 cases throughout California, and on the heels of the Fourth of July long weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom instructed businesses in 19 counties across the state to roll back their reopenings for at least the next three weeks.  The Governor’s instructions require the closure of:

  • All indoor, in-person dining at restaurants (outdoor dining and takeout are still permitted, so long as social distancing protocols are followed);

  • Indoor tasting rooms and wineries;

  • Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums;

  • Indoor movie theaters and family entertainment centers; and

  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering facilities.

In order to comply with the Governor’s directives, California counties have begun to issue revisions and modifications to their existing Health Officer Orders.

For example, as of July 1, 2020, Los Angeles County amended its Health Officer Order to require the closure of the businesses listed above, although bars and wineries (both indoor and outdoor) had already closed earlier in the week.

Additionally, with a potential to impact all businesses in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County’s revised Health Officer Order requires businesses with three or more known cases of COVID-19 within the workplace over the span of 14 days to report the outbreak to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  Moreover, employers who have one known case within the workplace must have a protocol that requires (1) the infected employee to self-isolate at home and, (2) anyone exposed to the infected employee to self-quarantine.  Information regarding Los Angeles County’s revised Health Officer Order can be found here.

Accordingly, all employers in Los Angeles County should immediately ensure they have reporting protocols and procedures in place, as well as communication protocols, should any employee test positive for COVID-19.  In fact, it would be prudent for employers across the state to have these procedures and protocols in place, if they do not already.

Similarly, Sacramento County issued a revised Health Officer Order, effective at 3:00 p.m. on July 2, 2020.  The revised order requires all bars, brewpubs, breweries, wineries, tasting rooms and pubs to close and cease both indoor and outdoor operations.  The order also tracks the Governor’s directives with respect to the closure of indoor operations, as noted above.  Sacramento’s revised order can be found here.

The other counties impacted by the Governor’s instructions are Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Merced, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Ventura.

Copyright © 2023, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 188

About this Author

Greg Labate, Sheppard Mullin, labor and employment lawyer

Greg Labate is Co-Practice Group Leader of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group, and is a partner in the firm's Orange County office.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Labate represents employers in a wide range of industries. He provides general advice to employers relating to labor and employment issues, and has extensive experience in defending employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation, invasion of privacy, workplace violence, wages, and other related matters. Mr. Labate has...

Rachel Howard, Sheppard Mullin, labor attorney, employment lawyer, Century City legal counsel, California state law

Rachel Patta Howard is an associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Century City office.

She earned her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007 and her JD from UCLA in 2010.

She provides  day-to-day counseling to employers on a variety of human resource matters, such as exempt/non-exempt classification, sexual harassment, stock options, leave of absence and employee hiring, discipline and termination.