On May 4th, Governor Newsom issued a new executive order allowing for limited reopening of certain businesses. This initial allowance for re-opening was part of the State’s larger staged plan referred to as the “Resilience Roadmap.” The Governor’s plan identified that the State was in the early part of Stage 2 but set out guidance for counties to seek variances based on criteria set by the California Department of Public Health.

The State’s roadmap indicated that in the early phase of Stage 2, retail (curbside and delivery only), related logistics and manufacturing, office workplaces (where teleworking was not feasible), limited personal services, outdoor museums, childcare, and essential businesses can open with modifications, could open if the counties could meet certain variances.

In conjunction with the State’s roadmap, several counties developed their own reopening roadmaps, including Orange County. Orange County’s guidance, as such, stated that in early Stage 2 the following businesses could open: curb-side retail, manufacturers, and logistics.  It noted that the “Expanded Stage 2 with Attestation” (and specifically noted that none of these were open in Orange County until there was further guidance on facility adaptations from the Governor), included office-based businesses, and noted that telework remains strongly encouraged.

Subsequently, the Governor retracted on some of the requirements of counties, and, as such, allowed the state to progress to a more thorough Stage 2, including the opening of office-based businesses.

At that point in time, Orange County’s roadmap was more stringent than California’s guidance, as it stated that, among others, an office-based business could only open in “Expanded Stage 2 with Attestation,” not in “Early Stage 2 Opening.”

However, the County identified this conflict and, over the weekend, issued new guidance confirming office-based businesses may reopen in the County, where telework is not possible, following applicable guidelines. Office-based businesses will still need to comply with both county and state guidance for reopening.

The State has mandated that all facilities who reopen must:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines

Jackson Lewis is monitoring state and local guidance and can assist in developing return to work policies and protocols for businesses. Contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you would like to discuss your business’s return to work plans.

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Photo of Jonathan A. Siegel Jonathan A. Siegel

Jonathan A. Siegel is one of the founding Principals of the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, state and federal agencies and courts.

Mr. Siegel also provides advice and…

Jonathan A. Siegel is one of the founding Principals of the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, state and federal agencies and courts.

Mr. Siegel also provides advice and counsel regarding labor and employment law with respect to various issues ranging from wage and hour law, reduction in force, WARN Act, discipline, leave management and harassment and discrimination issues. Mr. Siegel defends employers regarding different varieties of wrongful termination and discrimination claims.

Mr. Siegel has represented management in union organizing drives and regularly defends employers in unfair labor practice proceedings as well as in collective bargaining and arbitrations. He also has extensive experience conducting wage and hour preventive audits. He conducts single location and multi-location audits for employers. The scope of such audits can range from examining specific issues, i.e., exempt status under federal law and California, to comprehensive FLSA and California Labor Code audits. Mr. Siegel has conducted audits for a wide range of industries including, but not limited to manufacturing, retail, transportation, various service industries, defense contractors and healthcare.

Mr. Siegel regularly speaks on a variety of topics including wage and hour, harassment/discrimination, national and California employment trends, Workers’ Compensation, EEO, managing leaves of absence under FMLA and state leave laws and union avoidance. He has moderated numerous programs and is featured as a keynote speaker for several different organizations.