COVID-19 Alerts from Newhouse Law Group: Update 4/28/20 - Employment Alert and Impacts of Covid-19 On Hospitality & Business

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March 27, 2020

Update 4/28/20

Cities Enact Supplemental Emergency Paid Sick Leave

 
The City Council of Los Angeles enacted the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance on March 27, 2020. While commending the City Council, LA’s Mayor expressed concerns about the broad scope and the economic burden the law may place on LA’s economy and businesses. On April 7, 2020, the Mayor modified the law, excluding additional businesses, and enacting the Mayor’s Emergency Order, which took effect on April 10, 2020 and will remain effective until December 31, 2020. Briefly, LA’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law offers up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave to eligible employees who work within the City of Los Angeles.  The law applies to any employer that has either: (i) 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles; or (ii) 2,000 or more employees anywhere in the United States (“Covered Employer”). 
Employees are eligible if they work for a Covered Employer and performed any work (including telework) within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles and were employed by the Covered Employer from February 3, 2020, through March 4, 2020. The law exempts certain essential businesses and details the qualifying reasons for emergency paid sick leave.
  • To read the Mayor’s Emergency Ordinance in its entiretyclick here.
  • To read an article in the LA Times for a quick summary of this new law, click here
San Francisco and San Jose have recently enacted supplemental emergency paid sick leave ordinances similar to Los Angeles:
  • For a full text of San Francisco’s Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO), amended by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 14, 2020, click here.
  • For the required notice for employers to provide to employees in San Francisco, click here
  • The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) has published guidelines to assist employers implementing PHELO. To review, click here.
Other California cities may enact similar supplemental emergency paid sick leave laws as the pandemic continues. California employers should remain on the look out if they operate in multiple cities throughout the state. For legal advice regarding any of these laws or other labor and employment issues, you may reach out to Ruth Seroussi at rseroussi@newhouselawgroup.com.

COVID-19 Employment Alert
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has issued temporary regulations and guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA). During the week of April 20, 2020, the DOL added nine additional Frequently Asked Questions, bringing the total number of FAQs from 79 to 88 and providing further guidance on the FFCRA. As previously discussed, the FFCRA provides both Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“EPSL”) and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (“EFMLA”) both related to the COVID pandemic. 
Read More Here

Worker Protection Order Created to Help Contain the Spread of COVID-19
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took additional measures to protect Los Angeles citizens and contain the spread of COVID-19 (the “Coronavirus”). Garcetti issued the Worker Protection Order (the “Order), which applies to all workers performing services or working at businesses exempt from LA’s Safer At Home Emergency Order. This Order took effect on April 10, 2020 and follows a sharp spike in recorded deaths due to the Coronavirus in the United States. Failure to comply with the order may result in fines and possibly imprisonment. 

Can the government commandeer hotels to fight COVID-19?
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that allows the state to commandeer any hotel or medical facility in California and use it to treat those that have the COVID-19 coronavirus. Local governments also are acquiring private property to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Unemployment Insurance Guide for Employers with Newly Displaced Workers
As millions of displaced workers seek economic relief in the form of California’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, the federal government has stepped in to supplement it (and each state’s UI program) with funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Newhouse Law Group | 310-684-3162 | www.newhouselawgroup.com
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Update 3/27/20 

What Employers Need to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Relevant California Laws and Benefit Programs Available During the
COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

In this rapidly changing landscape for employers and employees due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, federal and state governments have taken actions to try and alleviate the economic impact on employers and employees as a result of state and local orders shuttering businesses as well as employers deciding to move to telework to try and mitigate the spread of the disease. This newsletter spells out the Federal actions to date with regard to COVID-19 that affect all California employers, as well as California state laws and benefit programs that employers and employees should be aware of as they navigate this crisis.
 
Federal Actions on COVID-19 Affecting Employers
On March 18, 2020, the President signed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”), into law. This Act is not effective for another nine calendar days, until April 2, 2020, and is only effective through December 31, 2020. Among other things, the Act expands employee benefits protections related to COVID-19 as follows: it creates emergency paid sick leave, expanded emergency Family and Medical Leave, and it expands unemployment insurance provisions.
 
Read More Here

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Notice of Regulatory Relief by California ABC. 
 
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) recently issued a Notice of Regulatory Relief which may be of particular interest to those in the hospitality industry. This regulatory relief is designed to support the alcoholic beverage industry in its efforts to assist California in slowing the spread of the virus while assisting the industry in dealing with the economic challenges it is facing as a result. Click here for details
 
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OSHA Recording & Reporting
of COVID-19
California is responding to the spread of a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19). While investigations to learn more about the virus are ongoing, workers and employers should review their health and safety procedures to help prevent exposure to the virus. OSHA has issued general guidance (instructions for compliance officers) and other related information that may apply to worker exposure to novel coronavirus, COVID-19. There is no specific OSHA standard covering COVID-19. However, some OSHA requirements may apply to preventing occupational exposure to COVID-19. Among the most relevant are listed here, as well as requirements for recording workplace exposures to COVID-19
 
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Restaurant Suit Tests Business Interruption Insurance for Coronavirus Shutdowns
 
A restaurant in the heart of the New Orleans tourism district filed a lawsuit on Monday asking a state judge for a declaratory judgment that its business-interruption policy will cover its damages if it is ordered to close by civil authorities in response to the coronavirus.
 
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U.S. Lawmakers Push Insurers to Cover Coronavirus Business Losses
 
Some U.S. lawmakers are urging commercial insurers to pay businesses for losses stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, despite terms in the insurance policies that would otherwise bar coverage.
 
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Given State and Local Stay at Home Orders Should Businesses Stay Open?
 
The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors. Not sure if your business is an essential critical infrastructure business that should stay open? You are in good company. For some businesses, it is clear whether they should close or stay open. For others, they were left scratching their head as to whether they were in the essential critical business infrastructure sector. Some businesses in this grey area are interpreting the directive more broadly than others. The following article captures some of these concerns and how different businesses are managing:
 
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Newhouse Law Group can help advise you on this and other related issues. Click below, or call 310-684-3162
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Newhouse Law Group | 310-684-3162 | www.newhouselawgroup.com
Contact:
Mike Newhouse, Attorney
(310) 684-3162, ext. 1