We are continuing to track state and local restrictions, updated daily, here.

In a sign of things that may be coming nationally, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued an “emergency order” requiring employees of “Essential Businesses” to wear face coverings. The order also requires customers visiting such businesses to wear face coverings, at the risk of not being served if they fail to comply.  Businesses are expressly permitted to refuse entry to any customer not wearing a face covering.

Face coverings need not be N95 or medical-grade masks, but must shield the nose and mouth. The order expressly mentions cloth masks, scarves, and bandanas.

Businesses must provide employees with face coverings at their own expense and, while not stated in the order, Mayor Garcetti’s press announcement states employers must reimburse employees if employees procure their own face coverings.

Essential businesses, which include grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, coin-operated laundry services, restaurants, and ride-sharing and delivery services, are also required to:

  • implement physical distancing measures for employees, customers, and visitors;
  • provide employee access to a clean and sanitary restrooms, stocked with all necessary cleansing products like soap and sanitizer; and
  • allow employees to wash their hands at least every 30 minutes.

The Mayor’s order, issued Tuesday evening, will be effective Friday April 10. “Cover up, save a life—it’s that simple,” Garcetti said. Businesses that fail to comply could be subject to fines.

Riverside County, California, has also issued an order requiring that employees of Essential Businesses wear face coverings.

It is important to note that these orders do not implicate Cal OSHA’s standards for Respirator Protection because (a) a non-medical-grade face covering is not a “respirator” under the standard, and (b) even if it were, the employer is providing it for mandatory (not voluntary) use under the orders, not Cal OSHA regulations. Accordingly, employers are not required to provide the so-called “Appendix D” notice to employees, set forth in 8 CCR section 5144, Appendix D.