In this Ignite series, K&L Gates associates Gregory T. Lewis, Ashley Song and Spencer Hamer discusses reopening California’s New COVID-19 Guidance for employers safely. The discussion begins with Gregory showing us where we are right now with Covid-19 statistics and talks about new Statewide resources such as the employer playbook. The playbook discusses both employers' and employees' responsibilities to mitigate the spread of COVID- 19 and includes a reopening checklist, outbreak identification preparedness, and the keys to communicating with your Local Health Director (LHD).
The conversation leads into a discussion about how to best communicate and collaborate with your employees if there is an outbreak and how to return to work after a positive test which can include a symptomatic positive, asymptomatic positive, symptomatic negative, asymptomatic negative, symptomatic untested and asymptomatic untested. Other General topics in the playbook include a cleaning guide, paid sick leave benefits and other available resources. Gregory concludes his portion by discussing the Department of Industrial Resources (DIR) safety guidance, which instructs employers on what they can and cannot do.
Ashley Song discusses COVID-19 related claims employers face starting with a failure to provide a safe work environment and discrimination claims based on age or race. Ashley dives into all the claims that companies are beginning to arise from COVID-19 and how to avoid them best. She also touches on the issue of telecommuting and the best ways to practice this including the wage and hourly issues associated with the subject. Her presentation leads into a lot of information about the Acts and laws that have come from the pandemic such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), AB 1867 (Supplemental Paid Leave), SB 1383 (Expansion of CFRA), AB 685 (COVID-19 requirements) and lastly SB 1159 (Rebuttable Presumption of Contracting COID- -19 at the Workplace).
In closing, Spencer Hamer discusses the development of independent contractor law in California including the “ABC” test. This presentation allows you to learn a lot of relevant information for employers and employees in California and can help a person or business avoid simple mistakes in coming back to work in the new Covid-19 environment.
Watch the full program below