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(a) In response to the threat of the novel coronavirus “COVID-19” global pandemic, the City intends, through a proactive, comprehensive, science-based approach, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community, protect the most vulnerable among us, and gradually reopen all sectors of the local economy as it is safe to do so.
(b) On February 25, 2020, Mayor London Breed proclaimed a state of emergency, with which the Board of Supervisors concurred on March 3, 2020. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, on March 16, 2020, the Local Health Officer issued Health Order No. C19-07 directing San Franciscans to “shelter in place,” or stay at home, except for certain essential businesses, services, and activities. That Order has been amended several times to allow additional businesses and activities to resume, and it remains in effect without an end date as Order No. C19-07t, as of March 4, 2021.
(c) Under this Health Order, essential businesses, including grocery stores, drug stores, and on-demand delivery services for food, medicines, and other essential items, have continued to operate. Restaurants initially were permitted to operate for carry out and delivery service. Outdoor dining, and then limited indoor dining, were permitted during a period when case rates had declined. Although both were subsequently suspended because of a rise in case rates, outdoor dining was permitted again starting on January 27, 2021, and limited indoor dining was permitted again starting on March 3, 2021, as case rates started to fall. Grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, and on-demand delivery services have provided and will continue to provide critical access to essential items during the public health emergency. Many San Franciscans, especially residents who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or underlying health conditions, use on-demand delivery services to receive food and other essential items while staying safe at home.
(d) Grocery store, drug store, and restaurant workers and on-demand delivery drivers and shoppers are an essential population of workers who cannot perform their work remotely, making them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure. These workers must be provided the necessary supplies, tools, and equipment to protect themselves from infection and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to other employees or to the members of the public to whom they supply essential goods. This need is particularly pressing for on-demand delivery drivers and shoppers. Many delivery services incorrectly classify their delivery shoppers and drivers as independent contractors, so they are unlikely to be provided health insurance, sick leave, other paid leave, unemployment insurance, or workers’ compensation; they may not be provided or reimbursed for the necessary supplies, tools, and equipment to protect themselves from COVID-19; and they may not be provided guidance on COVID-19 health and safety. With the adoption by the voters of Proposition 22 (November 3, 2020), delivery drivers and shoppers may be properly classified as independent contractors if certain conditions are met, but these workers remain uniquely vulnerable because they lack the employment protections described in the preceding sentence.
(e) Order No. C19-07s, Appendix A, includes extensive health and safety requirements for businesses operating during the pandemic. In addition, the Local Health Officer has issued several health Directives applicable to specific industries and activities. These include Directive No. 2020-05b, for restaurants and other facilities that prepare food for carry out and delivery; Directive No. 2020-06, for delivery and shipping businesses; Directive No. 2020-16e, for indoor and outdoor dining; and Directive No. 2020-17b, for indoor retail. Each of these Directives applies certain protections and requirements to defined “Personnel” who provide services at the applicable businesses, including both employees and independent contractors.
(f) Although the Local Health Officer’s Orders and Directives have the force of law, and their violation can be punished by fines and misdemeanor criminal prosecution, both employees and workers who are independent contractors whose health may be jeopardized by violations of Health Orders and Directives, may have no effective remedy. This Article 33M is required to provide effective remedies to workers, including employees and independent contractors, whose rights are violated, and in turn to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection among workers at grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, and on-demand delivery services and the members of the public with whom they interact.
(g) Further, by providing additional scheduling flexibility and hours protections, this Article 33M provides grocery store, drug store, restaurant, and on-demand delivery workers additional tools to protect themselves and others from infection and thereby protect public health.
(Added by Ord. 39-21, File No. 201186, App. 3/26/2021, Eff. 4/26/2021)