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  • Governor Issues Order to Help Meet Deliveries, Suspends Some Layoff Notice Requirements

    CalChamber   - March 19, 2020

    Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday signed an executive order to ease restrictions on commercial drivers supporting emergency relief efforts, and suspend certain existing laws for employers directly affected by COVID-19.

    The order aims to address dwindling supplies of essential medical and sanitary items, and sudden changes in workforce needs that are affecting businesses across all industries.

    Labor Laws

    The Sacramento Bee reports that a quarter of California counties have issued mandatory shelter-in-place orders, asking residents to stay at home and run only essential errands, like trips to the grocery store or pharmacy.

    Employers throughout the state have had to close rapidly without providing their workers the advance notice required under California law, either in response to local directives or in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. In response, yesterday’s executive order suspends, starting March 4, 2020, Labor Code Sections 1402(a), 1402, and 1403 for an employer that orders a mass layoff, relocation or termination at a covered establishment on the condition that the employer:

    • Gives the written notices specified in Labor Code Section 1402(a)–(b);
    • Gives as much notice as is practicable, and, at the time notice is given, provides a brief statement of the basis for reducing the notification period;
    • Orders such a mass layoff, relocation, or termination that is caused by COVID-19-related “business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable as of the time that notice would have been required;” and
    • For written notice given after the date of the executive order, in addition to the other elements detailed in Labor Code Section 1401(b), such written notice must contain the following statement: “If you have lost your job or been laid off temporarily, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI). More information on UI and other resources available for workers is available at labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019.”

    The Labor and Workforce Development Agency is expected to provide further guidance in the coming days.

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    March 19, 2020