City of Los Angeles Emergency Order: Comply or Face Fines and Imprisonment

Lewitt Hackman

Lewitt Hackman

On April 7, 2020, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an emergency “Worker Protection Order” directing essential businesses (such as grocery stores, laundromats, and hotels) and their customers/visitors, to take specified measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. For more information on essential businesses and “safer at home” orders, please read here.

The Order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 10, 2020 and continues until Mayor Garcetti declares “the end of the local emergency period.”   

The Order implements the following requirements:

  • All essential workers must wear protective face coverings over their noses and mouths provided at the employer’s expense. The face coverings need not be medical-grade or N95 respirators; cloth or fabric coverings are sufficient (e.g., scarves and bandannas). Reusable face coverings must be washed at least once a day and any disposable coverings must be properly discarded.
  • Employers must permit employees to wash their hands at least every 30 minutes.
  • Employers must ensure their employees have access to “clean, sanitary restrooms, stocked with all necessary cleansing products” or “sanitizing agents” recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. All such products or agents must also be provided at the employer’s expense.
  • Employers must implement social distancing measures (a six-foot buffer) between all individuals to the extent possible.
  • Customers and visitors of essential businesses must wear protective face coverings over their noses and mouths. Businesses may deny entry or service to anyone who fails to wear a face covering.
  • Although not currently required, essential businesses are encouraged to install plexiglass between cashiers and customers for additional protection.

Failure to comply with these requirements constitutes a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine and imprisonment.

Finally, the Order permits essential businesses to sell face coverings and emergency supplies. However, the Order warns any such sellers to abide by all price gouging laws.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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