COVID-19: What are the “Safer at Home” Orders?

Attorney Nicholas Kanter

Nicholas Kanter | Shareholder

March 27, 2020

California and the City of Los Angeles issued “safer at home” orders which have significantly impacted businesses and workers. The California order (Executive Order N-33-20) was issued March 19, 2020 and stays in effect until further notice. The Los Angeles Order was issued March 19, 2020 and expires April 19, 2020 unless extended.   

General Scope: The orders require all residents to stay at home. The Los Angeles order requires all businesses within the City of Los Angeles to cease operations that require in-person attendance by workers at a workplace.

Main Exceptions: The orders recognize people need to leave their home for health and safety reasons, and certain businesses must continue to operate for the the health and well-being of all residents. The main exceptions to the orders are:

  • Personal needs: People can leave their home to engage in certain essential activities, including: visit a health or veterinary care professional, obtain medical supplies, obtain groceries, engage in outdoor activity and recreation.
  • Essential Business Operations: Certain designated businesses are allowed to remain open, and employees of those businesses are allowed to report to work. These include:
  • Construction of commercial and institutional buildings, and residential buildings and housing
  • Health care operations
  • Food providers, including restaurants (take-out, delivery – no dine in), grocery stores
  • Plumbers, electricians, landscapers, property managers, private security personnel
  • Banks, financial institutions and insurance companies
  • Professional services, such as legal, payroll or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in the order to work as permitted
  • City/County government services

A list of businesses/workers exempt from the orders (“Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers”) can be found at http://covid19.ca.gov/img/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf.

Although not required, many businesses are providing their employees with “pass” or “authorization” letters in case a law enforcement officer stops an employee on suspicion of violating the safe at home orders. The letter describes the business for which the employee is performing work, and why the business and employee are exempt from the orders.

For more information on the safer at home orders, and how they may impact you, please contact a member of our Employment Group, or visit the following state and local resources:

Nicholas Kanter is an employment defense and business litigation attorney at our firm.

This information provides an overview of a specific developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact or situation.

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