The City of Los Angeles Orders Mandatory Face Coverings to Protect Certain Essential Employees

April 14, 2020
On April 7, 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a Worker Protection Order (the “Order”) requiring employees who work at certain businesses or perform services that are exempt from the restrictions of the City of Los Angeles Safer at Home Order to wear non-medical grade face coverings while performing their work.  The Order requires that employers of these workers provide, at the employer’s expense, non-medical grade face coverings for their employees.  The face-coverings requirement applies to the following businesses and organizations:
  • Grocery stores, water retailers, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouse stores, food banks, certified farmers markets, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food and medication supplies (but not grooming or training), fresh or frozen meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as construction supplies and cleaning and personal care products);
  • Organizations and businesses that provide food, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals (including gang prevention and intervention, domestic violence, and homeless services agencies);
  • Hardware and building supply stores, day labor centers, and nurseries;
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, day laborers, landscapers, gardeners, property managers and leasing agents, and private security personnel;
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
  • Restaurants and retail food facilities that prepare and offer food to customers, but only via delivery service, to be picked up, or drive-thru;
  • Individuals and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, beverages or goods directly to residences or businesses;
  • Taxis, ride sharing services, car rental companies, and other private transportation services; and
  • Hotels, motels, and shared rental units.
Employers of these workers are also required to permit their employees to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer at least every 30 minutes and must ensure that their employees have access to clean and sanitary restrooms stocked with all necessary cleansing products or sanitizing agents.  All such employers must also implement social distancing measures for customers, visitors, and employees that provide a six-foot buffer, to the extent possible, between individuals. 

The Order also requires that customers and visitors of these businesses wear face coverings over their noses and mouths.  Business owners or operators of these businesses may refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear face coverings.

These requirements went into effect on April 10, 2020, and will remain in effect until the end of the local emergency period.  Failure to comply with the Order is a misdemeanor subject to fines and imprisonment.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, and federal, state, and local governments issue additional guidance, employers need to be cognizant of new guidance and requirements.  For more information, please visit S&C’s page regarding Coronavirus updates.