What's Your COVID-19 Return to Work Plan? Free Resources & Webinar

Posted by: Gail Cecchettini Whaley, J.D. on Friday, May 8, 2020

Starting today, May 8, 2020, California has partially entered Stage Two of California's four-stage "Pandemic Roadmap" for reopening the economy. Governor Newsom announced that under Stage Two, the following limited business sectors can begin reopening if they meet set industry guidelines.

Business sectors specifically listed in this phase of Stage Two are:

  • Retail (curbside only)
  • Manufacturing
  • Logistics

Mandatory Industry Guidance

Employers must review their specific industry guidance found on the resilience roadmap and create a plan based on that guidance. Guidance is available for each sector of the economy and is created along with Cal/OSHA.

Before reopening, all facilities must:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines

Each industry has a checklist; "When complete, you can post the industry-specific checklist (below) in your workplace to show your customers and your employees that you've reduced the risk and are open for business."

California's resilience roadmap further emphasizes that it is critical that employees needing to self-isolate because of COVID-19 are encouraged to stay at home, with sick leave policies to support that, to prevent further infection in your workplace. See additional information on government programs supporting sick leave and worker’s compensation for COVID-19.

Local Ordinances and Industry Orders

California has a mish-mash of local and state COVID-19 ordinances and orders that employers must navigate — understandable given the size of the state and the diversity of its demographics and industry.

Under California's resilience roadmap, "some communities may move through Stage Two faster if they are able to show greater progress, and counties that have met the readiness criteria and worked with the California Department of Public Health can open more workplaces as outlined in the County Variance Guidance."

Counties and cities have imposed safety requirements such as mandatory face masks, workplace safety postings, social distancing protocols, and scheduling mandates. Some localities have required additional paid sick leave or enacted workplace scheduling mandates. Other rules may apply only to certain industries or wage orders, such as food industry requirements.

  • Make sure to check local ordinances and any statewide industry-specific information before you make any decisions regarding COVID-19 and your workforce — such as return to work, safety requirements, and leaves.

Get Your Return to Work Plan Ready!

Employers can prepare now for the phased reopening of our economy. Create or revise current policies before your employees return to work.



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