As summarized in a previous GT blog post, California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy established criteria for easing and tightening restrictions on the activities of California residents and businesses based on counties’ Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection rates. When the system took effect initially on Aug. 31, the state assigned each county one of four color-coded tiers – Widespread (purple), Substantial (red), Moderate (orange), or Minimal (yellow) – based on two factors: average daily case rate and test positivity rate. To move into a less restrictive tier, a county must meet the criteria for the less restrictive tier for the previous two weeks.

Effective Oct. 6, a third criterion took effect. The California Health Equity Metric is intended to reduce disparities of COVID-19 transmission in disadvantaged communities hardest-hit by the virus and is reportedly the first of its kind at the state level in the nation. The metric has two components.
Continue Reading The Carrot and the Stick: California Becomes First State in the Nation to Condition Business Reopening on Reduced COVID-19 Transmission in Disadvantaged Communities

With California employers now grappling with remote workforces, all the time and effort spent ensuring compliance with sick leave legislation – particularly at the local level – should be re-visited.
Continue Reading Red Sky at Morning: Employers Take Warning; Today’s Forecast: Changing State and Local Sick Leave Mandates in California

On Sept. 17, 2020, the governor of California signed into law new workplace notice requirements and enforcement procedures in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These new requirements


Continue Reading California to Mandate Employer Notification of Possible COVID-19 Exposure to Employees


Continue Reading DOL Amends FFCRA Regulations to Address Concerns Raised by Judge’s August 2020 Decision

Prompted by telework arrangements that arose in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) issued a Bulletin addressing important


Continue Reading DOL Issues Guidance on Wage-and-Hour Obligations as Pandemic Increases Telework

On August 18, 2020, Sonoma County joined the ranks of ten other California cities and counties that have enacted local supplemental paid sick leave ordinances related to COVID-19.1 The
Continue Reading California Wine Country Pours Out Another Round of Paid Sick Leave Benefits

As employers continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, they now face a new set of workforce challenges related to extreme weather and wildfires. Both are creating a challenging remote work environment due to: (1) recent evacuations; and (2) heat exposure risks linked to employees now forced to work in their homes with closed windows (and lack of proper air ventilation). Employers should consider preparing themselves for a further reduced workforce caused by such complications.
Continue Reading California Wildfires Increase Employer Concerns

On Friday, August 28, 2020, Governor Newsom unveiled the state’s new tiered system for identifying and reducing COVID-19 infection risks in each county. This new “blueprint” is aimed at reducing instances of COVID-19 by imposing revised criteria for both easing and tightening restrictions on the activities of California residents and businesses.

Under the new system, which goes into effect on Monday, August 31st and replaces the “County Monitoring List” approach, each county is assigned to one of four tiers – Minimal, Moderate, Substantial, or Widespread. These tiers are assigned based on the percentage of new daily cases and the percentages of positive tests.
Continue Reading California Revamps its Reopening Criteria for Businesses and Activities