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Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order Requiring “Large” Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave

Last week, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order that will require Food Sector employers, including wineries and vineyards, with 500 or more employees to provide two weeks of paid sick leave for COVID-19 related issues.

The Executive Order applies to Food Sector Workers who satisfy the following criteria:

  • The person works in one of the industries covered by certain Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) wage orders, including IWC Wage Order 8-2001 (wineries) and Wage Order 14-2001 (vineyards);
  • The person is exempt as an Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker from the requirements imposed by Executive Order N-33-20; and
  • The person leaves the person’s home to perform work for a “Hiring Entity,” which includes any private entity.

Winery and vineyard employees satisfy all three criteria. 

The first criterion includes IWC Wage Order 8-2001, which covers “Industries Handling Products After Harvest,” and IWC Wage Order 14-2001, which covers “Agricultural Operations.” The definition of “Industries Handling Products After Harvest” includes “any industry… operated for the purpose of . . . fermenting . . .” among other things, and the definition of “Agricultural Operation” clearly captures vineyard operations. As such, wineries and vineyards employees satisfy this criterion.

As to the second criterion, winery and vineyard employees are Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers under Executive Order N-33-20 because they are in the “Food and Agriculture” category, which includes employees in “beverage production facilities.”

Finally, the third category is satisfied because winery and vineyard employees leave their homes to perform work at the winery or vineyard, which are private entities.

For more information

Governor’s Press Release

Governor’s Executive Order

Additional legal analysis by Fisher Phillips, LLP


Tracy Genesen

Vice President / General Counsel

Tyler Blackney

Director, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs (California)