Written by Brandon Takahashi and Brian Casillas

Effective immediately, employers in the City of Los Angeles must provide face coverings and take additional steps to protect employees.

On April 7, 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a Worker Protection Order (“Order”) (revised on April 9, 2020) ordering further protections for City of Los Angeles non-medical essential workers (as provided in Paragraph 5(vii) of the City of Los Angeles Safer at Home Emergency Order) requiring workers to wear non-medical grade face coverings (e.g. fabric coverings, such as scarves and bandanas) over their noses and mouths while performing work.  The Order became effective at 12:01 a.m. on April 10, 2020.

The Order applies to:

  • Grocery stores, water retailers, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouse stores, food banks, certified farmers markets and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food and medication supply (but not grooming or training), fresh or frozen meats, fish, and poultry, any other household consumer products (such as construction supplies, cleaning and personal care products);
  • Organizations and businesses that provide food, social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals (including gang prevention and intervention, domestic violence, and homeless services agencies);
  • Hardware and building supply stores, day labor centers, and nurseries;
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, day laborers, landscapers, gardeners, property managers and leasing agents, private security personnel;
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
  • Restaurants and retail food facilities that prepare and offer food to customers, but only via delivery service, to be picked up, or drive-thru;
  • Individuals and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, beverages or goods directly to residences or businesses;
  • Taxis, ride sharing services, car rental companies, and other private transportation services; and
  • Hotels, motels and shared rental units

The Order also requires that employers listed above: (1) provide, at the employers expense, non-medical grade face coverings for their employees; (2) permit their employees to wash their hands or use sanitizer at least every 30 minutes; (3) ensure that employees have access to “clean, sanitary restrooms, stocked with all necessary cleansing products; or sanitizing agents required to observe hand sanitizing protocols recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, provided at the employer’s expense”; and (4) implement social distancing measures for customers, visitors, and employees that provides a six-foot buffer, to the extent possible, between individuals.

The Order also requires that all non-medical essential workers required to wear face coverings must “frequently (at least once a day)” wash any reusable face coverings, and that any single-use face coverings must be properly discarded into trash receptacles.  Further, the Order recommends (not requires) that all retail businesses listed above install plexiglass to separate cashiers and customers at all points of sale.

Customers and visitors must wear masks too.  The Order requires that all customers and visitors of businesses and organizations listed above wear face coverings over their noses and mouths to provide additional protection for employees and customers.  Face coverings need not be medical-grade masks or N95 respirators, but can be a fabric covering (e.g. scarves or bandana coverings).  A business owner or operator may refuse admission or service to any individual who fails to wear face coverings as required by the Order.

Failure to comply with the Order shall constitute a misdemeanor subject to fines and imprisonment.

The Order is effective until the end of the local emergency period, and may be extended prior to May 1, 2020.

Please stay safe and provide your workers with a bandana or face covering!