California Legislation Update

Governor Newsom

On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20, which provides new paid sick leave to certain food service workers. Citing a need to fill a “gap” left by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which applies solely to employers with fewer than 500 employees, this new Executive Order provides up to 80 hours of “COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave” to defined food sector workers.

(Zaller Law Group is hosting a free webinar on Friday, April 24, 2020, to discuss this new Executive Order and answer your questions. Join us for Understanding California’s New Paid Sick Leave Requirements For Food Sector Employees.)

Here is what you need to know.

What employers are covered?

Executive Order N-51-20 applies to employers with 500 or more employees in the United States, including full-time and part-time workers but not including independent contractors. Employees on leave of any kind are counted, but employees furloughed or laid off are not counted unless and until they are reemployed.

The Executive Order expressly applies to any “Delivery Network Company” (companies that use a website or mobile app to enable local delivery of products/food from third-party merchants; think Postmates or GrubHub) and any “Transportation Network Company” (companies that provide transportation services using online apps/platforms that connect passengers with drivers using a personal vehicle; think Uber or Lyft) that employs 500 or more employees.

As with the FFCRA and FMLA, common employees of joint or integrated employers must be counted together.

There is one exception: if, as of April 16, 2020, the employer already provides a “supplemental benefit” such as paid leave that provides the same or greater benefit provided by this Executive Order, then the employer does not have to provide the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.

What employees are entitled to Supplemental Paid Sick Leave?

The Executive Order applies to “Food Sector Workers,” which it defines as any person who satisfies one of the following criteria:


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