COVID-19 News: April 20, 2020

  • Residents and workers of San Francisco are now subject to a public health order requiring the donning of face coverings in public. Specifically, face coverings must be used at essential businesses, while using public transit or when standing in line, or when seeking health care. To read more, click here!
  • Governor Newsom has created a task force of leaders in business, health care, and labor to consult on business and job recover in California. You can read the press release here and view a list of task force members here..
    • The task force will meet twice a month and will confer on the timing of re-opening California and planning for recovery in the short, medium, and long term.
    • Interestingly, part of their plan is to rebuild California’s recovery with green technologies in mind.
  • Last Thursday, Governor Newsom issued an executive order covering several actions, including allowing the California Justice Department to develop procedures to avoid delays in employment processing in critical sectors. 
  • News on Project Room Key, California’s initiative to shelter vulnerable, unhoused populations: California created a master agreement template with Motel 6 that counties can adopt for locations within their jurisdiction in an effort to provide lodging to vulnerable populations and flatten the curve. To read more, click here.
    • As of 4/18/20, California has secured over 10,900 hotel and motel rooms and 1,133 trailers for vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness.
    • In addition to lodging, Project Room Key provides meals, security, and custodial services.
  • As you’ve likely heard, the Department of Labor released a memo regarding discretion in enforcement when considering an employer’s good faith efforts during the crisis. The full memorandum can be accessed here.
  • The Federal Government launched a website for “opening America”, detailing their three phase plan: https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/
  • On 4/16/20, the NLC published a blog, “Hazard Pay Decisions Challenge City Leaders”.
    • The blog reminds city leaders that hazardous duty pay is considered premium pay, and FEMA determines the eligibility of premium pay based on the Applicant’s pre-disaster written labor policy, if that policy meets three requirements:
      • Does not include a contingency clause that payment is subject to Federal funding;
      • Is applied uniformly regardless of a Presidential declaration; and
      • Has set non-discretionary criteria for when the Applicant activates various pay types.
    • The blog also includes some case examples
  • The Network for Public Health Law published a free Emergency Legal Preparedness Primer for COVID-19 as of April 17, 2020. The 50-page document includes legal, policy, and practical guidance.
    • Starting on Page 22, the guide covers “COVID Constitutional Law Issues – Top 10”
  • In other interesting news, the New York Attorney General is suing the U.S. Department of Labor, claiming the DOL rule implementing the FFCRA “unlawfully” narrows paid leave eligibility. To read more, click here.
  • The President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a memo regarding “Implementing a National Return to Work Plan”. The memo warns that “a reopening plan that is medically based and relies on social distancing and other best practices for public health may raise significant regulatory and legal liability risks”, and goes on to outline some of those risks.

For more information about COVID-19’s impact on California’s political and administrative landscape, visit our coronavirus webpage.

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2020-05-13T19:32:02-07:00April 20th, 2020|