L.A. City and County COVID-19 Weekly Update (June 8, 2020)

CA Health and Government COVID-19 Guidance: Week in Review

Reopening Timeline

Last week was the first full week that restaurants and personal services businesses such as barber shops and hair salons were permitted to reopen in Los Angeles. As they reopen, these businesses must comply with all applicable state health guidance, including physical distancing, using facial coverings and frequent hand washing.

In addition, the County’s Economic Recovery Task Force began releasing sector-specific guidance for businesses that are reopening. This guidance provides recommendations such as how to manage potential infection and contact tracing for employees, cleaning protocols for business locations, and signage for use in customer-facing businesses.

L.A. City Budget

On Monday, June 1, the Mayor’s fiscal year 2021 budget went into effect by force of law, as the L.A. City Council did not object or make modifications. However, on Wednesday, June 3, Council President Nury Martinez introduced a motion directing the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Officer, working with the Mayor, to identify $100–$150 million in potential cuts to the LAPD budget. The motion further seeks recommendations on “reinvesting these funds back into disadvantaged communities and communities of color.”

In addition, during his evening press conference, also on Wednesday, June 3, Mayor Garcetti announced that he would be working to identify approximately $250 million in reductions to the City’s overall departmental budgets, including the same $100–$150 million in reductions to the LAPD’s budget, for the coming fiscal year. These funds would be redirected to programs supporting communities of color. The Mayor’s proposal has sparked pushback from the Los Angeles Police Protective League and others within law enforcement.

Changes in Law—Food Delivery

On Wednesday, June 3, the Los Angeles City Council enacted an ordinance capping the fees that third-party delivery services can charge within the City. Specifically, the ordinance:

  • Caps fees at 15% of the total sale for a delivery, and mandates that third-party delivery app companies take no more than 5% for all other non-delivery charges.
  • Prohibits third-party services from retaining tips meant for delivery workers and from charging prices for items higher than those set on the service by a food establishment.
  • Requires third-party services to disclose their fees and charges to customers.
  • Creates a civil cause of action, with a right to obtain attorney fees, against potential violators.

The Mayor signed the ordinance into law on June 5, and it is now effective.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is beginning consideration of similar legislation on Tuesday, June 9. There are two motions pending. Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl are proposing a motion that instructs staff to prepare a report and draft ordinance by the Board’s July 7 meeting. As currently envisioned, the Solis-Kuehl motion asks County staff to investigate the following:

  • A cap on the commission fees that third-party food delivery services charge on the purchase price of an order.
  • A cap on any additional fees charged by a third-party food delivery platform beyond those fees charged for delivery of an order.
  • A fee that can be imposed on third-party food delivery platforms for all deliveries to create a countywide fund that could be used for assisting certain food establishments and their workers as well as for economic development activities.
  • Prohibiting third-party food delivery platforms from reducing compensation paid to delivery service drivers or garnishing any of the gratuities paid to delivery service drivers as a result of any caps or fees implemented.

Separately, Supervisor Kathryn Barger is advancing a complementary motion, asking County staff to investigate:

  • Requiring food delivery companies to disclose “a clearly identified and itemized cost breakdown of each transaction.”
  • If a fee is used in lieu of a cap, whether the fee should be “setup under County Fund for Los Angeles” that was established as part of the County’s Roadmap to Economic Recovery.
  • Whether to include a sunset date of 90 days after the conclusion of the “Safer at Home” Health Officer Orders.
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