Los Angeles County Issues New Social Distancing Protocol
On April 10, 2020, Los Angeles County extended its “Safer at Home” Order until May 15, 2020, and directed essential businesses (such as restaurants, gas stations, and residential care facilities) within all unincorporated areas and cities within the County of Los Angeles (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) to implement a new “Social Distancing Protocol.” The Order includes new posting requirements and specific social distancing measures employers must implement to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
Employers must comply with the Order by 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2020.
Employers must complete and post the County’s Social Distancing Protocol notice at or near the entrances to its facilities where it is easily viewable to the public and employees. A copy of the Protocol must be distributed to each employee performing work at the facility.
Additionally, employers must post signage at each public entrance informing employees and customers that they should (1) avoid entry if they have a cough or fever and (2) maintain a minimum distance of six-feet from one another.
Implementation of Safety Measures
The Protocol includes a checklist of measures employers must implement, as applicable, and requires businesses to provide evidence of the implementation to any authority enforcing the Order “upon demand.”
The measures addressed in the Protocol include the following:
- Measures to prevent crowds from gathering;
- Measures to keep people at least six feet apart;
- Measures to prevent unnecessary contact; and
- Measures to increase sanitization.
If any measure is not implemented, an employer must be prepared to explain why the protocol is inapplicable to its business.
Finally, any additional measures the employer elects to implement must be listed on or attached to the Protocol.
As with the City of Los Angeles’ recent Emergency Order, failure to comply with the new Order is a crime, punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.
Don’t hesitate to contact a member of our Employment Practice Group if you have any questions regarding the new County of Los Angeles Order. Additional information on COVID-19’s impact on businesses can be found on our COVID-19 Resource Page.
Nicholas Kanter and Chrystal Ferber are attorneys in our Employment Practice Group.
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.