SafePassLA Now In Effect 

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Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP

On November 8, 2021, SafePassLA officially went into effect. The Los Angeles City ordinance requires patrons of covered locations to demonstrate proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 before entering indoor spaces. Specifically, covered locations include:

  • The indoor portions of all establishments where food or beverages are served, including but not limited to, restaurants, bars, fast-food establishments, coffee shops, tasting rooms, cafeterias, food courts, breweries, wineries, distilleries, banquet halls, and hotel ballrooms;
  • Gyms and fitness venues, including, but not limited to gyms, recreation facilities, fitness centers, yoga, pilates, cycling, barre, and dance studios, hotel gyms, boxing and kickboxing gyms, fitness boot camps, and other facilities used for conducting indoor group fitness classes;
  •  Entertainment and recreation venues, including, but not limited to, movie theaters, music and concert venues, live performances venues, adult entertainment venues, commercial event and party venues, sports arenas, convention centers, exhibition halls, museums, malls, shopping centers, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, card rooms, family entertainment centers, play areas, pool and billiard halls, and other recreational game centers; 
  • Personal care establishments, including spas, nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons, estheticians, skincare and cosmetology services, body art professionals, piercing shops, and massage therapy, except as medically required; and 
  • Outdoor events in the City of Los Angeles with an attendance between 5,000 and 9,999 individuals.

Covered locations are required to check for vaccination status upon the first in-person interaction with staff, and may not use a pre-check system. The ordinance requires businesses to check proof of vaccine against identification.  SafePassLA only requires patrons of businesses to show proof of vaccination. Employees and vendors are not included in the SafePassLA program and therefore employers are not required to verify proof of vaccination for their employees, although they are encouraged by the city to do so. Of course, other vaccination laws may apply to these businesses, such as the new Emergency Temporary Standard announced by OSHA. 

Enforcement of penalties against businesses for failure to comply with the ordinance begins November 29, 2021.  Inspectors from the Department of Building and Safety are tasked with enforcement.  In particular, on or after November 29, businesses regulated by the ordinance may be issued a citation and fines for failure to comply with the ordinance as follows:

  1. A warning and a notice to correct for a first violation.
  2. An administrative fine of $1,000 for a second violation.
  3. An administrative fine of $2,000 for a third violation.
  4. An administrative fine of $5,000 for a fourth and each subsequent violation

More information for businesses is available here.

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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