The city of Sacramento California has adopted an ordinance that provides certain protections to workers regarding COVID-19. The ordinance took effect on July 15, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020.
The ordinance generally covers:
- All employees who work within the boundaries of the city.
- All employers that operate a business in the city and that directly or indirectly employ or exercise control over the wages, hours, or working conditions of any employee.
Employers must implement the following protocols and practices:
- Daily cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- Maintenance of cleaning protocols established by the employer for all other areas of the work site.
- Establish protocols for when the work site has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Providing employees access to regular handwashing with soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
- Cleaning of common areas – including break rooms, locker rooms, dining facilities, rest rooms, conference rooms, and training rooms – daily and between shifts.
- Providing face coverings for employees to wear during their time at the work site, and mandating employees wear the face coverings while on the site, except to the extent an employee can maintain physical distance of six feet from other persons or is using break time to eat or drink. Employers must establish protocols specifically regarding how it will ensure proper physical distancing.
- Informing all employees of the required protocols and practices in this section, in writing, in English and any language spoken by at least 10% of the employees who are at the work site.
RIGHT TO REFUSE WORK:
Under the ordinance, an employee may refuse to work for an employer if the employee reasonably believes the employer is in violation of the above requirements and provides notice to the employer of the alleged violation.
The city may investigate whether the employer was in violation of the requirements, as alleged by the employee. Within 15 days of written notice from the city, the employer must remedy any alleged violation that has been substantiated by the city.
If the city finds the employer wasn't in violation of the requirements, or if the employer provides proof to the city that it has cured any substantiated violation, the employee no longer has the right to refuse work.
Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against an employee for:
- Seeking to exercise their rights under the ordinance;
- Participating in proceedings related to the ordinance; or
- Refusing to come to work if based on an alleged violation substantiated by the city.
EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE (EMPLOYERS WITH 500 OR MORE EMPLOYEES):
The ordinance also extends emergency paid sick leave requirements to employers with 500 or more employees nationally, which aren't covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. See the ordinance for details.
Sacramento employers should read the ordinance in full and ensure compliance. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.