How California Businesses Can Safely Reopen
By Gregory Thyberg on September 02, 2020
After experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, California is finally seeing the number of positive virus tests go down. As conditions improve, it is likely that non-essential businesses will soon get approval to start reopening.
Prior to reopening, businesses will have to ensure they comply with both state and local public health guidance. These guidelines are in place to create a safe environment for employees and business patrons. Using the COVID-19 Employer Playbook as a guide, employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg offers employers in Sacramento, CA, and surrounding areas tips for how California businesses can safely reopen.
Perform a Detailed Risk Assessment
Before reopening, business owners should perform a detailed risk assessment to create a work site specific COVID-19 prevention plan. To determine their business' risk level, owners should identify all areas of the job that involve potential exposure to COVID-19, as well as solutions for how the risk of exposure can be eliminated or reduced. Finally, a risk assessment should also outline plans for how to respond should the business experience a positive case of COVID-19 or an outbreak.
When performing this risk assessment, we encourage owners to speak to their employees and get valuable insight about the day-to-day operations of their business.
Provide Employee Training
It is important that employees are trained on new safety protocols prior to returning to work, as well as steps they can take to stop the spread of the virus. Employees should be taught to screen themselves regularly for COVID-19 symptoms. They should also be advised when to stay home from work, and what to do if they experience symptoms while at work.
Implement Screening Procedures
Although employees should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms, businesses should implement their own screening procedures, as well. Depending on the type of business, employers may choose to screen employees, patrons to their business, or both. A basic screening procedure may include a temperature check, as well as providing answers to some COVID-19 screening questions.
Implement Disinfecting Protocols
It is always important to maintain a clean business, but disinfecting protocols are especially essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19. We suggest that Sacramento business owners establish a regular cleaning schedule, with frequent disinfecting measures put in place throughout the day. Any areas of public contact, such as credit card machines, door handles, and cash registers should be disinfected between customers and employees, whenever possible.
Establish Physical Distancing Guidelines
Safety guidelines recommend maintaining a minimum distance of six feet. Businesses should determine how they will do their part to maintain distance between their patrons. A social distancing strategy will depend largely on what type of business it is. Possible recommendations include limiting the number of patrons in the business at one time, placing marks on the floor to encourage social distancing, spacing out seating, and marking a flow of traffic.
Establish Face Covering Requirements
California guidelines require that employees and customers wear a facial covering at all times when in a place of business. To safely reopen, businesses in the Sacramento area should enforce this rule among their workers and do their best to ensure their customers are complying, as well.
Employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg stands up for workers’ rights, to encourage work spaces that are safe. If you believe that your employee rights have been violated, contact our legal firm at your earliest convenience or call us at (916) 204-9173 to schedule a no-obligation case review.