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On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-51-20, creating a COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave that requires employers, who are covered by Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders 3, 8, 13 and 14, Health & Safety Code section 113789 and have 500 or more employees, to provide up to two weeks (80 hours) of supplemental paid sick leave to food sector workers unable to work due to COVID-19. The Executive Order provides supplemental paid sick leave (“COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave”) for food sector workers nationwide for certain circumstances related to COVID-19. The type of food sector workers the Executive Order covers ranges from farmworkers to those workers who work in the retail food supply chain, including pick-up, delivery, supply, packaging, retail, or preparation. Eligible workers thus include grocery workers, restaurant or fast food workers, workers at warehouses where food is stored, and workers who pick-up or deliver any food items.

The COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave is in addition to paid sick leave already required under California’s Health Families Healthy Workplace sick leave law, and it will be enforced in the same manner.

The order also includes a new notice requirement: The Labor Commissioner shall make publicly available a model notice by April 23, 2020, and this notice must be posted in a conspicuous location. However, if the employer has food sector workers who don’t frequent the workplace, the notice may be distributed by electronic means, such as via e-mail.

Finally, the order also establishes a hand-washing standard; employees working in any food facility can wash their hands every 30 minutes and more, as needed. This standard is enforced under provisions of the Retail Food Code.

To help answer your questions regarding N-51-20, on April 20, 2020, the California Department of Industrial Relations published frequently asked questions on Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Food Sector Workers, here is the link: CALIFORNIA FAQs on Executive Order Concerning Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Food Sector Workers at Companies with 500 or More Employees.

Visit Rothmeyer | Rothmeyer for the latest updates on COVID-19. We are here to assist you with the unique challenges faced by all of us during this unprecedented time.

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