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Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: Expansion of Unemployment Benefits Through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

Posted in Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

On March 27, 2020, the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Safety (CARES) Act was passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Trump as the largest emergency aid bill in history. The CARES Act significantly expands unemployment benefits and comes on the heels of 3.3 million Americans having applied for unemployment benefits last week. In California specifically, there were 186,809 claims for unemployment benefits to the Employment Development Department last week.

The CARES Act includes a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that is fully funded by the federal government. The assistance applies retroactively to January 27th and extends through December 31st, with a maximum of 39 weeks of assistance (inclusive of weeks when the employee received extended benefits or regular compensation). Individuals who are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits and those that can work remotely with pay are excluded from the program.

The program expands unemployment insurance to those who do not typically qualify, including gig economy workers who are classified as independent contractors and self-employed individuals. Specifically, benefits will be provided to any person who is unemployed or partially unemployed due to any of the following:

  • The individual has received a COVID-19 diagnosis, or is experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • The individual is providing care for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • The individual is the primary caregiver for a another person in the household who is unable to attend school or another facility due to COVID-19;
  • The individual is unable to reach the workplace because of a quarantine imposed due to COVID-19;
  • The individual was scheduled to begin work, but could not do so because the place they were scheduled to begin work at has been shut down due to COVID-19;
  • The individual lives in a household where the head of household died directly due to COVID-19;
  • The individual’s workplace has been closed because of COVID-19.

Individuals who are furloughed, but have not fully been laid off, are also eligible for unemployment benefits.

Every individual receiving unemployment benefits will be provided $600 per week, in addition to the weekly benefit amount authorized under state unemployment compensation law, for up to four months. Additionally, the program provides an extra thirteen weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits through the end of the year to assist individuals who remain unemployed after state unemployment benefits are no longer available.

For the standard unemployment benefits that the state remains responsible for, the federal government will provide payments to the state to reimburse government agencies, nonprofits, and Indian tribes for fifty percent of the costs they incur through the end of the year to pay unemployment benefits. For those states that decide to pay recipients of unemployment benefits as soon as they become unemployed, rather than waiting a week, the federal government will provide funding to pay the first week of unemployment benefits. This is applicable in California, as Governor Newsom has waived the first week waiting period, meaning that people will receive a full two weeks of benefits on their first unemployment benefits check, as opposed to one week. Further, for those states that offer “short-term compensation” programs for employees who have their hours reduced, California being one of them, the federal government will pay one hundred percent of the costs incurred by the state through the end of the year.

The attorneys at Weintraub Tobin continue to wish you and your families good health during these difficult times. Please feel free to reach out to one of us if you have any questions regarding this expansion of unemployment benefits and how that may relate to your workforce.

 

DOL Updates Questions & Answers Page for Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Posted in FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations

Earlier this week, we advised you that the US Department of Labor had issued a Question & Answers webpage that addressed some issues arising out of the passage of the FFCRA, most importantly clarifying that it would become effective on April 1, 2020. (Click here.) Yesterday, the DOL updated that “Questions and Answers” webpage and added more than 25 new questions and answers regarding various issues under the FFCRA for both employers and employees. Here is a summary of the various issues addressed by the updated Q&A page:

  • Clarifies that the FFCRA creates a new paid leave as of April 1st and does not apply retroactively:
    • Employees are not entitled to FFCRA leave if:
      • Employer has closed work site and/or furloughed employee prior to April 1; 2020; or
      • Employer closes work site and/or furloughs employee after April 1, 2020 but before employee has started FFCRA leave.
  • Makes clear that FFCRA leave can be taken intermittently in certain circumstances related to having to take care of children who are subject to school/child care closures.
  • Only employees who have been on the employer’s payroll for at least 30 calendar days prior to the FFCRA’s effective date (i.e. as of March 2, 2020) are eligible for FFCRA leave.
  • Explains the types of documentation that an employer can require from an employee (and must maintain) in relation to FFCRA leave as well as the employee’s obligations to provide such documentation.
  • Employees are only eligible for FFCRA leave if they are unable to work (even remotely) as a result of COVID-19, which includes those employees required to stay-home by local authorities and are unable to work remotely. If an employer has work for the employee, and the employee can perform that work remotely, the employee is not eligible for the leave (absent having symptoms of, or caring for a family member with symptoms of COVID-19) just because they cannot report to their normal worksite.
  • Employees cannot receive both unemployment pay and FFCRA paid leave.
  • Although employers can consider paying employees on FFCRA leave an amount in excess to that required by the law, the employer will not be able to claim, or be entitled to receive, a tax credit for that excess amount.
  • Employers who are subject to multi-employer collective bargaining agreements may be able to satisfy their FFCRA obligations by making contributions to the multi-employer fund or plan under certain conditions.

California employers should continue to monitor our blog for future updates concerning the FFCRA and other employment developments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also advise employers to seek legal advice to determine whether the FFCRA applies to their business, and if so, what steps to take to ensure compliance.

 

San Francisco Issues New Guidance on San Francisco Paid Sick Leave During Pandemic; Financial Relief for San Francisco Employers

Posted in FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

On March 24, 2020, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement issued guidance pertaining to the use of Paid Sick Leave under the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO).  This publication supersedes the OLSE’s guidance issued just last week. Employers should be aware of temporary changes in the PSLO rules specific to the current pandemic:

  1. No Doctor’s Notes for Duration of COVID-19 Local Health Emergency

Under normal circumstances, employers may require a doctor’s note to verify the need for sick leave of more than three consecutive work days.  For the duration of the COVID-19 “Local Health Emergency,” however, employers may not require a doctor’s note or other documentation for the use of paid sick leave taken pursuant to the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

The rule will automatically revert to normal after the Local Health Emergency expires, or the OLSE revokes it sooner.

  1. Eligibility for Paid Sick Leave

The OLSE clarifies that employees who have been laid off, as opposed to furloughed, are not entitled to Paid Sick Leave.

Employees who are not ill and otherwise do not qualify for PSL (see item 3, below), but who have had their hours reduced or eliminated due to business slowdowns, are not entitled to use accrued paid sick leave to make up their lost pay.  Employees who remain scheduled to work may continue to use their accrued paid sick leave for any qualifying reason for any portion of their scheduled hours they are unable to work.

Note, however, that employers with 499 or fewer employees in San Francisco may need to provide employees who are unable to work or telework due to local, State or Federal quarantine or isolation orders, with up to 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which takes effect April 1, 2020.  See https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions.

  1. Employee Use of Paid Sick Leave for Local Health Emergency Reasons

An employee may use accrued paid sick leave if he or she needs to take time off work because:

  • Public health officials or healthcare providers require or recommend that the employee isolate or quarantine him or herself;
  • The employee falls within the definition of a “vulnerable population” under the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s (DPH) March 6, 2020 guidelines or any subsequent updates.  As of March 6, 2020, a “vulnerable population” is a person who is 60 years old or older or a person with a health condition such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or weakened immune system;
  • The employee takes time off work because the employee’s business or a work location temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation – subject to the “Eligibility for Paid Sick Leave” guidelines above;
  • The employee takes time off work because the employee needs to provide care for a family member who is not sick but who public health officials or healthcare providers have required or recommended isolate or quarantine; or
  • The employee takes time off work because the employee needs to provide care for a family member whose school, child care provider, senior care provider, or work temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation.
  1. Paid Sick Leave Not Paid Out at Separation

The OLSE also revised two of its FAQs, which clarify but do not represent a change in the law:

  • Employees are not entitled to a payout of Paid Sick Leave upon termination. However, if the employer uses a combined “PTO,” unlimited PTO, or vacation policy to comply with the SF PSLO (and does not separately track and accrue Paid Sick Leave for its employees) then the PTO is paid out upon separation. This is consistent with existing California law.
  • If there is a separation from employment, and an employee is later rehired by the employer within one year, previously accrued and unused paid sick leave must be reinstated, and the employee is entitled to use the previously accrued and unused paid sick leave and to accrue additional paid sick leave upon rehiring.

Financial Relief Available for Employers

As noted in my blog post last week, if employers pay their San Francisco employees for extra sick time (beyond the amount required by the SF PSLO), the City will reimburse $15.59 per hour for extra sick leave up to 40 hours, for up to 499 employees, through its new Workers and Families First Program.  Employers would have to pay the difference between minimum wage and the employee’s regular wage.

A step-by-step program guide has been published here, but the application is still not available.  Check back frequently, because the funding is limited to $10 million and is first-come, first-served.

Additional financial relief for San Francisco businesses is available during the local COVID-19 emergency:

  • The City has deferred business taxes due April 30, 2020, for businesses with up to $10 million in gross receipts, for nine months with no interest or penalties.
  • The City is deferring collection of annual small business license and permit fees, for at least three months.
  • Water shut offs and late fees are being suspended for at least 60 days.
  • The City has declared a moratorium on commercial (and residential) evictions due to nonpayment until at least April 15, 2020, for small business and residents.

Please be sure to frequently check the Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s list of resources and financial assistance available, or contact one of the Labor and Employment attorneys at Weintraub for guidance.

DOL Issues Model Notice To Employees Of Rights Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Posted in FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress recently passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Among other things, the FFCRA requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees’ leave rights under the FFCRA apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

The FFCRA requires that employers “post and keep posted, in conspicuous places on the premises of the employer where notices to employees are customarily posted, a notice, to be prepared or approved by the Secretary of Labor, of the [FFCRA’s requirements].”  The FFCRA also requires the Labor Secretary to create that model notice and make it publicly available within 7 days.

Today, the Department of Labor issued that notice. The document is entitled Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and a copy of can be found on the DOL’s website here.

The notice contains summaries of employees’ paid leave entitlement amounts, an explanation of which employees are eligible, the qualifying reasons for which employees can use the leave, and information on the DOL’s enforcement mechanisms.

Consistent with other employment law posting obligations, employers should post this DOL notice in a conspicuous place where it can be easily read throughout the workday. Employers who have employees telecommuting should post the notice in an online portal where remote workers can easily access and read it, or alternatively email or otherwise electronically transmit a copy of the document to its remote workforce.

More information about the FFCRA can be found in our previous blogs here (summary of the new law), here (tax relief for employers), here (payroll tax credit and period of non-enforcement), and here (DOL Qs & As).  If you have any questions regarding the FFCRA or the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on your workplace, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our Labor and Employment attorneys for guidance.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Takes Effect April 1, 2020

Posted in FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence, Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

We have kept you advised of recent federal actions taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) which, among other things, provides paid family leave for certain employees. (See previous blogs at here, here, and here.) The FFCRA was to take effect “no later than 15 days” after being signed by the President. Given that it was signed on March 18, 2020, many legal commentators advised that it would take effect on April 2nd. The U.S. Department of Labor has now clarified that the FFCRA will instead take effect one day earlier on April 1, 2020.

Yesterday, the DOL issued a “Questions and Answers” webpage for the FFCRA. This Q&A page states: “The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.” The Q&A page addresses a number of questions for both employers and employees, including which employers are subject to the FFCRA and calculating pay for purposes of complying with the FFCRA, such as computing hours for part-time employees and including overtime for full-time employees. The Q&A page also states that while there is an exemption for small businesses, the DOL will address that exemption in more detail in a future Q&A page.

We recommend that employers continue to monitor our blog for future updates concerning the FFCRA and other employment developments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also advise employers to seek legal advice to determine whether the FFCRA applies to their business, and if so, what steps to take to ensure compliance.

 

More On The FFCRA: Payroll Tax Credits And Period Of Non-Enforcement

Posted in Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

As we told you on March 22, 2020, the Department of Treasury (DOT), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Labor (DOL) announced plans to provide some relief for small and midsize employers in light of the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). In their announcement, it was also stated that employers may make immediate use of their tax deposits to pay employees taking emergency leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (E-FMLA) or as Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (E-PSLA). The DOL further announced that it would not bring any enforcement actions against employers for any violations within the first 30 days the law is in effect, provided the employer can show it is acting in good faith to comply with the new law.

Use Of Tax Deposits/Payroll Tax Credits:

Generally, when employers pay their employees, they are required to withhold various taxes, such as federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes. Employers are then required to deposit these taxes, along with the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, with the IRS. The announcement stated that employers who pay qualifying emergency leave under the E-FMLA or E-PSLA, will be able to retain a portion of these payroll taxes, equal to the amount of emergency leave paid. If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of the emergency leave, the announcement stated that employers will be able file a request for an accelerated payment from the IRS.

The IRS provided the following examples:

  • If an eligible employer paid $5,000 in sick leave and is otherwise required to deposit $8,000 in payroll taxes, including taxes withheld from all its employees, the employer could use up to $5,000 of the $8,000 of taxes it was going to deposit for making qualified leave payments. The employer would only be required under the law to deposit the remaining $3,000 on its next regular deposit date.
  • If an eligible employer paid $10,000 in sick leave and was required to deposit $8,000 in taxes, the employer could use the entire $8,000 of taxes in order to make qualified leave payments and file a request for an accelerated credit for the remaining $2,000.

We expect the details of this new procedure to be announced sometime this week.

Non-Enforcement Period:

The announcement further clarified that the DOL was issuing a temporary non-enforcement period, and providing employers with 30-days to come into compliance with the Act. During this time, the DOL stated that it intends to provide employers with “compliance assistance.” In doing so, the DOL made clear that the brief period of adjustment was only available to employers acting “reasonably and in good faith.” Employers should use this time to work with legal counsel to make sure they are in compliance with the new Act.

We are watching for the issuance of more formal guidance, and we will provide an update at that time. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our Labor and Employment attorneys for guidance.

 

COVID-19: Resources for California Employers (Updated 3/27/20)

Posted in Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing employers to make unprecedented decisions about their workplace. In an effort to help employers as they make the difficult decisions they are currently facing, we have gathered guidance released by many of the federal and state agencies specifically related to COVID-19. We hope this page is useful resource. That being said, this is a rapidly changing area of law, and new guidance is being implemented on what seems like a daily basis. As such, we recommend employers consult with counsel for the latest developments, including prior to taking any actions.

State of California and City/County Orders:

As we have previously told you here  and here, both the State of California and many cities and counties throughout the state have issued shelter-in-place orders. While the city and county orders may not loosen the State’s Order, they may be more restrictive. While not an exhaustive list, you can find many of those Orders and Directives below:

Department of Labor:

On March 18, 2020, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The President quickly signed it into law on the same day. The Act provides paid sick time and expands the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide an extended period of unpaid or partially paid leave for qualifying reasons related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Our previous blog post summarizing the FFCRA can be found here.

On March 24, 2020, the DOL issued a FAQ for the FFCRA. This Q&A page answers common questions to the Act (including which employers are subject to the FFCRA and calculating pay for purposes of complying with the FFCRA, such as computing hours for part-time employees and including overtime for full-time employees), and specifies that it applies to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.   The FAQ was updated on March 27, 2020. Please see here  and here for blog posts discussing the guidance.

On March 25, 2020, the DOL released the Notice to employees regarding the FFCRA. Employers will be required to post this notice wherever it posts its other required notices, as well as distribute it to its remote employees. The Notice can be found here and a FAQ related to the Notice here. A blog post discussing this Notice can be found here.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Safety (CARES) Act:

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Safety (CARES) Act was signed into law. Among other things, the CARES Act significantly expands unemployment benefits, offers loan support to small businesses, and provides for refundable payroll tax credits. Our blog post discussing the CARES Act can be found here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

The CDC has issued the following guidance for businesses responding to the COVID-19 pandemic here. The CDC website contains a wealth of information pertaining to the disease, its symptoms, and other similar information which can be found here.

California Labor Commissioner:

Employees may be eligible to use paid sick leave under state and local law. California’s Labor Commissioner has issued an FAQ on California’s paid sick leave law during the COVID-19 pandemic.

California WARN Act:

On March 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order suspending the 60-day notice requirement of Cal-WARN for employers who meet certain requirements. Specifically, in order to be relieved of the Cal-WARN notice requirements, employers considering mass layoffs must give the required notices with as much notice as practical, and for all written notices after March 17, 2020 California employers must also include the following statement (in addition to the other required language): “If you have lost your job or been laid off temporarily, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI). More information on UI and other resources available for workers is available at labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019.” More information regarding the Executive Order N-31-20 can be found here.

Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH):

The DFEH issued an FAQ related to COVID-19. In it, the DFEH encourages California employers to follow the CDC guidelines, and follows many of the EEOC’s guidelines for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes permitting employers to ask employees with COVID-19 to leave work, permitting employers to ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and conducting temperature checks for the purpose of evaluating the risk a particular employee may present to the workplace. It further reminds employers that all health information must be kept confidential, and provides guidance for employers as to evaluating requests for leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and as a reasonable accommodation.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that, in light of the shift to a remoted workplace, it provide some flexibility with respect to Employment Verification (Form I-9) regulations. In doing so the DHS is permitting employers to inspect Section 2 documents remotely, as well as to retain copies of those documents. The announcement can be found here.

Department of Treasury (DOT), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Labor (DOL):

On March 20, 2020, the Department of Treasury, IRS, and Department of Labor announced plans to provide some relief for small and midsize employers in light of the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Specifically, it was announced that employers will have access to refundable payroll tax credits designed to provide reimbursement for the cost of providing COVID-19 related leave to their employees. The full announcement can be found here.

Employment Development Department (EDD):

The California Employment Development Department has released FAQ’s designed to help employers and employees determine what benefits and programs might be available as a result to job loss related to COVID-19.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

The EEOC issued updated its guidance to help aid employers determine what actions may be taken during the pandemic, without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Rehabilitation Act, considering the COVID-19 epidemic. This guidance makes clear that the ADA and Rehabilitation Act do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidance of the CDC or other public health authorities. That guidance can be found here.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration issued an emergency declaration, which broadened federal exemptions from compliance with certain driver safety regulations for interstate commerce, including the federal Hours of Service regulations. Information regarding this emergency declaration can be found here.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

Employers have an obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to keep its workplace free from a hazard where: (1) the hazard is recognized; (2) the hazard was likely to cause death or serious physical harm; and (3) the hazard could feasibly be corrected. (See 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1).) This applies to COVID-19 in the workplace. Similarly, the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“Cal/OSHA”) protects employees from working conditions that could pose an imminent danger to employees. OSHA has instructed employees to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) interim guidance with respect to responding to the threat of COVID-19.  That guidance can be found here. Cal/OSHA has published its own set of guidelines, which can be found here.

U.S. State Department:

The Department of State has issued a “Level 4” travel advisory, advising all American citizens to refrain from international traveling due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That advisory can be found here.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance (“OFCCP”):

The OFCCP has granted a three-month, national interest exemption and waiver from AAP obligations for new federal contracts “entered into specifically to provide Coronavirus relief.” This “exemption and waiver extends to all affirmative action obligations of supply and service and construction contracts, and other obligations as specified in” FAR clauses 52.222-26 (EEO-Executive Order 11246); 52.222.35 (veterans); and, 52.222-36 (individuals with disabilities). More information about this waiver can be found here.

San Francisco, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE):

On March 24, 2020, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement issued guidance regarding use of COVID-19-related paid sick leave as used by San Francisco employees. That guidance can be found here, and a blog post discussing the OLSE guidance can be found here.

The attorneys at Weintraub Tobin are available to assist you as you evaluate the difficult decisions that employers throughout the state are being faced with.  Please reach out to the Weintraub Tobin attorney you regularly work with, or to any of the attorneys in the Labor and Employment Group.

IRS to Provide Tax Relief to Some Employers in Light of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Posted in Labor Law, New Legislation and Regulations, Wage & Hour

On March 20, 2020, the Department of Treasury, IRS, and Department of Labor announced plans to provide some relief for small and midsize employers in light of the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Specifically, it was announced that employers will have access to refundable payroll tax credits designed to provide reimbursement for the cost of providing COVID-19 related leave to their employees.

Among the refundable tax credits are:

(1) withheld federal income taxes;

(2) the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes; and

(3) the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes for all employees.

The full announcement can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-and-labor-announce-plan-to-implement-coronavirus-related-paid-leave-for-workers-and-tax-credits-for-small-and-midsize-businesses-to-swiftly-recover-the-cost-of-providing-coronavirus.

We anticipate that more comprehensive guidance will be announced shortly. When it is, we will provide an update. Until that happens, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our Labor and Employment attorneys for guidance.

 

Governor’s Newsom’s Statewide Order is in Place So Now, How Do Businesses Identify Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers?

Posted in New Legislation and Regulations

As our earlier post on March 19, 2020 announced, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 ordering all residents to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”).

In order to assist businesses in determining whether they fall within one of the recognized critical infrastructure sectors and identifying essential critical infrastructure workers, the CISA developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help State and local offices as they work to protect their communities, while at the same time ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

The list is advisory in nature and is not a federal directive or standard in itself.  However, in reliance on the CISA list, on March 20, 2020, California’s Public Health Officer issued a similar – but somewhat more expansive – list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” that will be relevant when analyzing compliance with Governor Newsom’s Order.  The list includes various types of jobs under different categories of critical infrastructure sectors that conduct a range of operations and services that are deemed essential to continued critical infrastructure viability in California.

A PDF of the California Public Health Officer’s “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” list can be viewed or downloaded here.

The attorneys at Weintraub Tobin continue to wish you and your families good health during these difficult times.  If we can be of assistance to you in analyzing your workforce under Executive Order N-33-20 and California’s Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers list, feel free to reach out to one of us.

California Governor Newsom Issues State-Wide Stay at Home Order

Posted in New Legislation and Regulations

On March 19, 2020 Governor Newsom issued a state-wide stay at home Order that will remain in place until further notice. To view or download a copy of Executive Order 33-20, click here. The Order directs all residents in the State of California to stay home unless necessary to maintain the continuity of operations of federally recognized critical infrastructure sectors.  To determine what infrastructure sectors are critical, the Governor refers to the U.S. Homeland Security CISA website. Continue Reading