California Statewide Stay at Home Order: What Employers Need to Know
On March 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a mandatory “stay-at-home” order, directing all California residents to stay home or at their place of residence. This order has taken immediate effect and is in place until further notice.
Violation of the order is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and up to six months imprisonment. The order further directed the healthcare delivery system to prioritize service of the sickest and prioritize resources, including personal protective equipment, for direct care providers.
The exception to the stay at home order is to permit Californians working in federally designated “critical infrastructure” sectors to continue their work. Those critical infrastructure sectors are detailed by the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) publication, Identifying Critical Infrastructure During Covid-19 and detailed further below.
Governor Newsom’s order provides that workers may continue to work “as needed to maintain continuity of operations” of the critical infrastructure sectors. These 16 critical infrastructure sectors are
The order provides no further guidance to employers, however, the CISA issued a memo on March 19, 2020, identifying an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” in each infrastructure sector. The CISA cautioned that the list was advisory in nature and not a federal directive or standard in and of itself, deferring to state and local governments, but should be useful guidance until the State of California issues any further clarifications.
The order also stated that the supply chain must continue, and that Californians still needed access to necessities such as food, prescriptions, and health care. Nevertheless, anytime people need to leave their homes or places of residence, whether to obtain necessities or work in critical infrastructure sectors, they must practice social distancing.