SACREMENTO, CALIF. - California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on April 16 outlining statewide standards for essential retail stores in the state.  

“These workers on the front lines of this crisis are our unsung heroes for continuing to work to ensure that Californians have food on their tables during these challenging times, and we must do everything in our power to make sure they are taken care of at home and in the workplace,” said Gov. Newsom. “Making sure they have paid sick leave and added protections in their place of work is critical.” 

The executive order guarantees employees in the food sector industry with two weeks of paid sick leave should they be impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). The order also requires grocery retailers to follow health and safety guidelines released by the California Department of Industrial Relations to ensure consistent practices across all essential retail. The order comes after over 500 retail employees tested positive for COVID-19 in the state. 

"The top priority of grocery stores is the health and safety of employees and shoppers which has taken on increased importance during this public health crisis,” said Ron Fong, chief executive officer of the California Grocers Association. “We welcome partnering with Governor Newsom and labor to ensure consistent standards to protect employees and shoppers and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.” 

"Today's announcement expands on safety efforts already underway and provides added comfort to valued grocery store employees and customers that a consistent set of best practices is being followed by all essential retailers regardless of size and location. It also provides greater clarity to store owners in what has been a rapidly evolving flow of information from local, state and federal officials.”