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Sacramento Employers Must Comply With New Worker Protection Ordinance Starting July 15th

Sacramento has passed the Sacramento Worker Protection, Health and Safety Act (Ordinance No. 2020-00260) which is effective as of July 15, 2020.

The ordinance requires all employers operating in the City of Sacramento to comply with certain specified safety practices and protocols, many of which are recommended by the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and requires larger employers to provide supplemental paid sick leave to employees for COVID-related reasons.

Required Safety Protocols

The ordinance requires that all Sacramento employers implement the following safety protocols:

  1. Daily cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas in accordance with guidelines issued by the CDC.

  2. Maintaining cleaning protocols established by the employer for all work sites.

  3. Establishing protocols for action upon discovery that the worksite has been exposed to a person with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

  4. Providing employees with access to regular handwashing with soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.

  5. Cleaning common areas, including break rooms, locker rooms, dining facilities, conference rooms, training rooms, and restrooms, both daily and between shifts.

  6. Providing face coverings for employees to wear at the worksite, mandating that employees wear the face coverings (except to the extent the employee can maintain proper physical distancing in accordance with guidance from the CDC); and establishing proper physical distancing protocols.

  7. Informing all employees, in writing, of the required protocols, both in English and in any other language spoken by at least 10 percent of employees.

The ordinance also provides that an employee may refuse to work if the employee reasonably believes that an employer is not complying with the required safety protocols.

Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

The ordinance also creates a supplemental paid sick leave requirement, similar to those passed by several cities in recent months.

Unlike the safety protocol requirements, this portion of the ordinance only applies to employers that have 500 or more employees nationally and are not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

As with other similar local ordinances, the Sacramento’s ordinance provides 80 hours of paid time off for full-time employees; part-time employees receive paid time off  equal to their average number of hours worked over a two-week period. The supplemental paid sick leave is paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay, subject to caps on the amount that must be paid to an employee on a daily and aggregate basis.

Supplemental paid sick leave may be used for the following reasons:

  1. The employee is subject to quarantine or isolation by a federal, state, or local order or is caring for a family member who is subject to such an order.

  2. The employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 or is caring for a family member who is so advised.

  3. The employee chooses to take off work because the employee is over 65 years of age or is considered vulnerable due to a compromised immune system.

  4. The employee is off work because the employer’s work location temporarily ceases operation due to a public health order or other public official’s recommendation.

  5. The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

  6. The employee is caring for a minor child because of a school or daycare closure due to COVID-19.

The ordinance contains other requirements, which employers operating in Sacramento should ensure they are following.

The ordinance will remain in effect until December 31, 2020.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 197

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About this Author

Erika Barbara Pickles Employment Litigation Jackson Lewis Sacramento, CA
Of Counsel

Erika Barbara Pickles is Of Counsel in the Sacramento, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

Ms. Pickles has defended employers in employment litigation, class actions, and arbitrations. Her practice has involved the full range of workplace-related claims, including but not limited to: wage and hour; discrimination, harassment and retaliation; and wrongful termination. She also assists employers in investigating and responding to administrative complaints before...

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