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Do You Operate a Los Angeles-Based Office? Work in One? Read This - Especially if your business is considered essential!

MSK Client Alert
December 7, 2020

As most everyone is by now aware, Los Angeles officials, both at the County and City level, have issued additional COVID-related restrictions on almost all industries, such that everyone living and/or working in L.A. is now operating in lockdown “Round 2” and is being told to basically – just stay home!  A question we have repeatedly received from Los Angeles-based clients in the past few days is what this second lockdown means for office worksites, and especially those that had previously required some, if not all (depending on whether an office was/was not deemed “essential”) workers to actually go into the office on a daily basis. As previously reported, on November 19, Los Angeles County limited indoor capacity of essential office worksites to 25% of maximum occupancy, and a few days earlier capped in-person meetings at these sites to a maximum of 15 people, with physical distancing and other restrictions in place during these meetings. The City of Los Angeles mirrored this requirement on December 2 with its own order, and stated that, subject to limited exceptions, all businesses within the City of Los Angeles are ordered to cease operations that require in-person attendance by workers at a workplace. The City order also stated that non-essential sectors may only conduct minimum basic operations at the office worksite, and may not have more than 25% occupancy at the site for those functions. “Minimum Basic Operations” include inventory, security, custodial services, payroll and employee benefits processing, and any reasonable activity designed to maximize the ability for its employees to work remotely from their homes. Non-essential businesses conducting minimum basic operations are required to ensure that their doors remain closed and locked to the public at all times.

Additional County restrictions were also imposed on L.A.-based worksites on December 3. Notably, offices must now ensure that for at least the next two weeks face masks are worn by employees working in cubicles (including cubicles equipped with partitions), employees must maintain a 6-foot distance from each other when eating or drinking and do so outdoors (to the greatest extent possible) or at least not in breakrooms, frequently touched items and bathrooms must be disinfected hourly and employees and visitors must be asked whether they are under isolation or quarantine orders during the screening process...

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