On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) published an order strengthening the COVID-19 safety requirements applicable to many business establishments and even spaces in the City and County of San Francisco (the “Order”).  As outlined below, the Order requires significant new vaccine mandates for San Francisco businesses operating (1) Indoor Food and Drink and Fitness Facilities; and (2) Large Outdoor and Indoor Events.  The Order also includes additional requirements for certain health care and congregate living facilities, and more information on these requirements is posted here.

Continue Reading San Francisco Mandates Proof of Full Vaccination for Entry Into Many Establishments

California has issued new guidance for the use of face coverings that will take effect on June 15, 2021.  The guidance impacts retailers and coincides with news that approximately 47% of Californians are now fully vaccinated.  Although the new guidance, published by the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”), will impact how retailers operate vis-à-vis public patrons, it does not impact employer-employee obligations.  Those obligations are still governed by the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), and in some cases, the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard.  You can find our blog about these standards here.
Continue Reading Face-Covering Considerations for Retailers in a Post-Color Tiered California

For much of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many California employees have utilized leave entitlements through federal, state, and local paid sick leave statutes and ordinances.  As of December 31, 2020, however, the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (“CSPSL”) — and many local supplemental paid sick leaves (“LSPSL”) — have expired.  With coronavirus cases still surging nationwide and no additional guidance on the new exclusion pay requirements under the Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (“Cal/OSHA”) COVID-19 emergency temporary standards (“ETS”), California employers are left wondering what paid leave laws may apply to their employees in 2021.
Continue Reading What the Expiration of COVID-19 Paid Leave Laws Means for Retail Employers in California

California retailers facing a variety of complications from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic now have one additional obstacle to tackle: compliance with new emergency standards from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”).  On November 19, 2020, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board unanimously adopted emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 prevention in the workplace.  Prior to the adoption of the emergency standards, general and industry-specific guidance from Cal/OSHA was advisory.  However, the new emergency standards are binding and enforceable against nearly all California employers effective November 30, 2020.  This article sets forth the basic requirements under the new standards.  It then identifies some new complications and costs that retail employers in particular may face when attempting to comply.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Standards Create New Complications and Costs for Retail Employers

On November 16, 2020, California implemented an accelerated application of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy metrics. Under the Blueprint Framework, every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. Each tier has its own set of restrictions. Three days later, on November 19, 2020, the state issued a limited Stay at Home Order.
Continue Reading California Department of Public Health Issues New Statewide Stay At Home Order Linked to ICU Bed Capacity

Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (“L.A. Public Health”) announced that all outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries and wineries will be restricted, effective November 25, 2020 at 10:00 p.m., while take-out, drive thru, and delivery services may continue (“Order”).
Continue Reading Los Angeles County Restricts In-Person Dining Due to Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Most employers are expected to pass on the IRS’ offer to temporarily delay collecting Social Security taxes.  For background, both employers and employees are generally required to pay a Social Security tax at a flat rate of 6.2% (for a total of 12.4%) on all wages.  In a separate article from our Corporate and Securities Blog, we discussed how the CARES Act allows employers to delay paying the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes.

Continue Reading To Defer or Not Defer? IRS Issues Guidance Temporarily Delaying the Collection of Social Security Taxes

On March 22, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order that closed all non-essential businesses in New York State (the “Order”).  In connection with the Order, New York City restaurants were forced to reduce their operations to pick-up and delivery only.  On June 8, 2020, New York City entered into Phase I of the New York State reopening plan.  It is anticipated that sometime between June 22, 2020 and the beginning of July, 2020, New York City will enter into Phase II.  During Phase II, restaurants will not be allowed to serve patrons indoors, but will be permitted to commence service to patrons outdoors.

Continue Reading A Streamlined Process: Expedited Temporary Outdoor Dining Permits For NYC Restaurants

As we move into the second quarter of 2020, governments around the country are analyzing how to best open up their economies. Part of this will include people returning to work, restaurants, retail establishments, and other places of public accommodation. Landlords, business owners, and others want to know how to take steps to reopen safely while government mitigation efforts are being developed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed. And where authorities don’t have specific mitigation efforts, instituting protocols will fall squarely on landlords, business owners, and those who operate places of public accommodation.
Continue Reading Taking Temperatures During COVID-19: A Practical Toolkit