May 15, 2020
Category: Legal Updates
Dine-in restaurants, brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, craft distilleries, and wineries that provide sit-down meals are permitted to open under Stage Two of Governor Newsom’s plan. In light of re-openings, California issued guidance to support a safe, clean environment for both workers and customers. The guidance (available in full here) recommends implementing a written, workplace-specific plan. To create a workplace-specific plan, employers should perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work areas and designate a person at each establishment to implement the plan. After the initial implementation of the plan, employers should regularly reevaluate the establishment for compliance with the plan, investigate any COVID-19 illness, and determine whether work factors could have contributed to a risk of infection. Employers should then update the plan as needed.
As employers implement plans to create a safe environment for their workers, employees must be trained on COVID-19 prevention and safety. Training topics can include self-screening, the importance of staying home when exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, when to seek medical care, basic prevention measures and good hygiene, the importance of social distancing, and the proper use of face coverings.
The guidelines offer specific individual control and screening measures such as temperature and/or symptom screenings for all workers, self-screening at home that follows CDC guidelines, and use of protective equipment and gloves when necessary.
California also included cleaning and disinfecting protocols. High traffic areas such as customer waiting areas and lobbies, break rooms, lunch areas, and areas of ingress and egress should be frequently and thoroughly cleaned. Commonly used surfaces such as doors, door handles, crash bars, light switches, waiting area chairs, credit card terminals, receipt trays, phones, etc. should be frequently disinfected. Employees should also avoid sharing equipment unless equipment can be properly disinfected after each use.
Lastly, California included guidance on physical distancing. When dining-in, outdoor seating should be prioritized. Ideas for promoting outdoor seating includes expanding the outdoor seating space and offering alcohol in these areas when permitted by local laws and regulations. Restaurants should also encourage reservations to permit time to disinfect restaurant areas and to inform customers of physical distancing practices through reservation platforms. Restaurants may also consider rearranging seating areas to ensure physical distancing between workers and customers with physical partitions or visual cues. However, although dine-in restaurants are permitted to re-open, takeout and delivery service should be encouraged whenever possible.
For a printable PDF of this article, click here.
THIS DOCUMENT PROVIDES A GENERAL SUMMARY AND IS FOR INFORMATIONAL/EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE COMPREHENSIVE, NOR DOES IT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT WITH COUNSEL BEFORE TAKING OR REFRAINING FROM TAKING ANY ACTION.