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Read the latest news from Scali Rasmussen, including legal alerts and event listings.

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One of the key benefits to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is the employer’s ability to promptly recover the amounts expended for paid leave under this Act through credits against certain payroll taxes and health plan benefits. The IRS has issued some specifics on how employers go about offsetting their tax liabilities for such expenses.

Social distancing protocol required at open businesses

Bay Area’s requirement revised 4/29, L.A. County’s requirement continues

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With the statewide Covid-19 order remaining in place, it is important for all businesses, in particular those with “essential” functions or otherwise allowed to remain open, to keep up to date with their compliance requirements.

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This document is created from Frequently Asked Questions we receive from our clients concerning the application of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that are not addressed in our original analysis of the FFCRA. It is not the sole input we have on the FFCRA and its practical effect on you and your business. But in the interest of time and due to the onslaught of questions and triage legal advice we are providing into the wee hours of the night, we are doing our best to provide you with information on only the most commonly asked questions that aren't addressed in our other publications. It will be continually updated as more information comes in from the federal government and agencies.

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On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents to stay home and for businesses to cease on-site operation, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) of the Department of Homeland Security and additional sectors as the State Public Health Officer may designate as critical to protect the health and well-being of all Californians. On April 17, 2020, CISA designated personnel essential to sell and lease vehicles as essential critical infrastructure.

Ventura County designates auto dealerships as essential businesses

Dealers must adopt social distancing protocol

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On April 18, 2020, Ventura County issued a new Order that designates Automobile Dealerships as "Essential Businesses," permitting in-person sales and long-term leasing transactions (as well as service and parts). It is important to note that automobile rentals are not permitted. So, if you operate a rental car service, you should cease operations under this Order. While it is unclear as to whether this includes "service loaners", shuttle services seem to be permitted in a different carve-out for private transportation providers.

Cities and counties are requiring social distancing protocols at essential businesses

Build yours now no matter where your dealership is located

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As talk has turned in California and the nation towards re-opening the economy, a number of California cities and counties have adopted requirements that all Essential Businesses implement formal Social Distancing Protocols. These requirements are likely to expand across the state and remain in place long after shelter in place orders are lifted.

L.A. County “Safer at Home” order extended to May 15

Prohibits “appointment only” sales and provides for “on-line” sales and off-site delivery

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On April 10, 2020, LA County issued a new order further clarifying its shelter in place order, making it clear that all non-essential in-store retail must cease. The order explicitly states remote sales of vehicles are not restricted by the order if the vehicles are delivered to a residence or Essential Business. This means that any car dealer currently offering in-store sales, even if limited to appointment only or for essential workers, must discontinue those sales. If the dealership wants to continue retail sales, it should conduct those sales remotely, being sure to follow state and federal regulations to avoid potential liability.

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The Mayor of Los Angeles issued a further emergency order on April 7, 2020, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic directed at certain essential businesses, which more likely than not effects some, if not all vehicle service operations. Retail businesses, restaurants, and delivery businesses that are deemed essential are among the effected businesses as well. Businesses subject to the order now have additional requirements for providing masks, hand washing, and social distancing and may refuse service to customers not wearing masks. The new requirements take effect this Friday, April 10, 2020.

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On April 1, the City of Los Angeles issued a modified version of its Safer At Home order initially issued on March 19. This order applies only to dealers in the city of Los Angeles. The updated version contains a statement that “no auto dealership shall operate, with the exception of its auto service and parts stores.” This follows closely behind modified orders issued by local jurisdictions in Northern California that require closure of dealership sales operations. The Northern California orders, however, expressly state that they are not intended to prohibit online sales if the vehicle is delivered to an essential business or residence. The Los Angeles City order does not mention online vehicle sales at all.

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