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Businesses Reopen in Los Angeles County as Stage 2 of California’s Statewide Plan Begins

LARA SHORTZ
MAY 8, 2020


Los Angeles County joins other jurisdictions nationwide that have begun to reopen for business to varying degrees. Toward that end, L.A. County officials announced the first round of businesses and locations that will be allowed to open their doors under strict protocols starting today (May 8, 2020)—this after months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

L.A. businesses and their customers alike are sure to have plenty of questions about the parameters of and rules related to the reopening plan. Michelman & Robinson provides some answers.

Q. What types of businesses are allowed to reopen at this time, and are their limits on their operations?

A. Retail stores, including those selling flowers, toys, music, books, clothing, and sporting goods, can offer online/phone orders and curbside pickup. In terms of limitations, in-store shopping and transactions are still prohibited for the time being.

For their part, car dealerships and showrooms are open for sales, so long as they adhere to social distancing and cleaning and infection control protocols. Restaurants will remain closed for dine-in guests, but take-out orders may continue unabated.

Of note, starting tomorrow (May 9, 2020), trails, trailhead parks, and golf courses will be able to reopen as well, but they must enforce social distancing and cleaning and infection control rules, and operators and customers must wear face coverings.

Q. Is there any available guidance regarding how retailers should handle curbside pickups and similar reopening-related matters?

A. Yes, guidance has been issued by L.A. County regarding the steps retailers must take to ensure proper curbside pickup of sold items. It can be found here. The guidance covers (1) social distancing, (2) cleaning and sanitizing, (3) employee health and personal hygiene, (4) facility safety, (5) customer expectations, and (6) employee support.

Everyone is encouraged to read the guidance, which also recommends that employers do all of the following:

  • Construct written return-to-work plans
  • Enforce social distancing rules
  • Provide training for employees regarding the workplace and interactions with customers
  • Furnish instructions for customers
  • Monitor employee health and hygiene and make special modifications for vulnerable employees
  • Accommodate vulnerable customers and guests (e.g., special hours of operations for customers over 65)
  • Provide personal protection equipment (PPE), including cloth face masks for employees in contact with customers
  • Implement systems for no-touch deliveries, as well as cleaning and maintenance
  • Work with employees to mitigate stressors and anxiety

Q. More broadly, what is happening on a statewide level in California in terms of reopening businesses?

A. Retailers, manufacturers, and warehouses are now permitted to reopen statewide. Stores, like those in L.A. County, are asked to emphasize curbside pickup and delivery, with social distancing a must. During this time, it is suggested that purchased items be loaded directly into customers’ trunks or items be left at their doors. Further, retailers are urged to install hands-free devices, such as motion sensor lighting, contactless payment systems, automatic soap and paper towel dispensers, and timecard systems.

For their part, manufacturers are being instructed to close breakrooms, but they are encouraged to add outdoor break areas with shade covers and physically distanced seating. Manufacturers are also advised to use barriers and/or increase distance between workers.

The same can be said for warehouses, which should also have employees carry sanitation materials and wear PPE, especially during deliveries. In addition, warehouses are to minimize transaction time between warehouse employees and transportation personnel; perform gate check-ins and paperwork digitally (if and when feasible); and clean vehicles and equipment before and after deliveries.

Q. Are there statewide reopening guidelines similar to those issued by L.A. County?

A. Yes, the so-called resilience roadmap, which includes specific industry guidance, can be found here. Among many other things, the roadmap directs employers in California to:

  • Perform detailed risk assessments
  • Train employees on limiting the spread of COVID-19, how to screen for symptoms, and to stay home if sick
  • Implement site-specific protection plans, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and physical distancing guidelines

The state expects to issue additional guidelines on May 12.

M&R’s labor and employment attorneys have been hard at work preparing return-to-work plans for several clients. If you would like us to do the same for your business, do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience.


We are working diligently to keep our clients up to date on coronavirus-related developments. Nevertheless, these developments are changing daily and, in some cases even hourly, so it is important that you make sure you are dealing with the most current information. That being said, this alert is not offered, and should not be relied on, as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for guidance and counsel regarding any specific concern or situation.