We are compiling resources for restaurants to use as they reopen. For more Coronavirus
resources, click here. These resources will continue to be updated.
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Guidelines for Reopening
Sanitation and Cleaning Considerations
Required and Suggested Posters
Rent and Landlord Negotiations
Takeout and Delivery Details
Free COVID Legal Help
State and County Guidelines for Restaurants
CDPHE site with local orders and variances
Press Release on State Opening Date, May 27
Capacity Calculator for Extra Large Venues
Guidance for Bars Reopening Without Food Service
Live Music Clarification
County Variances: Click Here
Now that state guidelines have been released, local variances will remain in effect if the local municipality chooses. The local municipality can choose to adopt the state guidelines if the state guidelines are less restrictive. If the state guidelines are more restrictive, the local variance will remain. This is our understanding from the state at this time. We'll keep you posted on new developments as we receive them.
Local Outdoor Expansion Programs: Click Here
Cities are launching local outdoor expansion programs to help restaurants grow capacity while adhering to social distancing guidelines. You'll also need to file an application for expanding your liquor license with the state. Find details here.
Attorneys at our Legal Resource Center partner Dill + Dill have drafted possession forms you can use as you expand your patio into neighboring space. See an agreement for a landlord/tenant relationship here, and an agreement for a third party here.
Insurance considerations for outdoor expansion: click here.
Safer at Home
The state has now transitioned from the Stay at Home phase of recovery to the Safer at Home phase of recovery. The Safer at Home guidelines aim to achieve 60-65% social distancing, as opposed to the 75-80% achieved in the current Stay at Home order. In addition to prohibiting all gatherings over 10 people, under the Safer at Home guidelines the public will be encouraged to:
You can find the public health orders and the executive orders here:
Safer at Home
Masks Required for Essential Employees
Local Mask Orders
Clarification on Facemasks for Back of House Employees
Clarification on Face Shields
See a list of all state and local orders in your jurisdiction – Credit CCI
CDC guidance for reopening
EPA guidance for disinfecting and cleaning
Cleaning and disinfection guidance from EcoLab
CRA business directory
CRA COVID-19 Symptoms poster
How to Use QR Codes to Create Touchless Menus
As you reopen your dining rooms, there are posters you are either required to post or are encouraged to post.
FFCRA poster -- required for everyone. This poster details the sick leave requirements outlined by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It must be printed and posted where your employees can see it. Find it here.
Mask poster -- required in some counties. This poster asks customers to wear masks. While it's not required everywhere, we recommend you post it, as customers statewide should be wearing masks in restaurants if not seated at their table. Find "masks required" option here and "masks recommended" here.
COVID-19 symptoms poster -- recommended. This poster asks customers not to enter your establishment if they have symptoms of COVID-19. We recommend you post it at your entrance. Find it here.
Let’s Get Checked - Private at-home COVID testing kits:
Cost: $107 per test includes expedited shipping
Many businesses across the state were forced to either furlough their staff, or lay them off entirely. It’s important to keep a few things in mind as you work to bring staff back.
If you reach out to an individual currently collecting unemployment benefits from the state and offer them a job, and they explicitly decline the job offer because they believe they will make more money with enhanced unemployment, that individual is no longer qualified for unemployment benefits. If you find yourself in this situation, you can report a change in circumstance to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment here.
If you have laid off staff and are now offering them their jobs back, you will need to have them fill out new employment forms such as I-9 and W-4. If you have furloughed staff, or those that have been suspended without pay, it is the employees’ responsibility to report their change in circumstance to the Department of Labor and Employment if they have been collecting unemployment benefits.
Rehiring letter templates: here and here
If you need help drafting new policies, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be paired with an attorney in our legal resource center.
Employee Health and Safety - in partnership with Fisher Phillips
According to the EEOC’s Technical Assistance Questions and Answers, an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that any mandatory medical test of employees be “job related and consistent with business necessity.” Applying this standard to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19. That’s because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others. Consistent with the ADA standard, you should ensure that any tests you administer are accurate and reliable.
Until further notice, you may continue to operate under the EEOC’s guidance, which confirms that measuring employees’ body temperatures is permissible. Unless required by a local or state order, taking temperatures is not required in most workplaces. Doing so will require extensive planning, training, and could even be quite expensive. In addition, many individuals infected with COVID-19 won't exhibit any symptoms, and thus temperature screening likely won’t prevent all workers who can transmit the disease from entering your worksite. The CDC recommends screening employees for fevers of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and CDPHE has the same threshold. If you decide to screen your employees, also plan to check the temperatures of guests, clients, vendors, and contractors to ensure a safe work environment. If you are recording employee temperatures in a log, you must keep that information confidential due to privacy concerns under HIPPA. You may want to consider taking note that employees are beneath the 100.4 degrees threshold unless the state or local public health agency requires businesses to keep a log.
See CDPHE guidance for employee temperatures here and CDPHE employee symptom screening form.
Webinar on Employee Safety Considerations: Recording here; slides here.
Webinar on Employee Liability Considerations: Recording here.
Paid Sick Leave
If you recall an employee any time before December 31, 2020, and the person indicates that they are unable to return because of one of the qualifying reasons for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) benefits or Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), they may be entitled to the EPSL benefit or EFMLA benefit.
Further, if an employee returns to work, they will then be potentially eligible for these benefits until December 31, 2020 if subsequently covered by a qualifying reason that makes them unable to work or telework. Please note, if you rehire an employee, they do not need to be on your payroll for an additional 30 days to qualify for paid leave. The FFCRA was amended to provide that if an employee was laid off or otherwise terminated on or after March 1, 2020, and rehired or otherwise reemployed by the employer on or before December 31, 2020, they will be entitled to EFMLA if they had been on the employer’s payroll for 30 or more of the 60 calendar days prior to the layoff or termination.
Colorado Help paid sick leave rules:
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has issued amendments to the Colorado HELP Rules, the temporary state paid sick leave program. You can read the amended Rules here. These amendments lengthen the duration of the state paid sick leave from 4 days’ full pay to two weeks (80 hours) at 2/3 pay. In order for an employee to qualify for paid leave under the Colorado Help Act, an employee must:
As a reminder, for non-tipped employees, employers must pay them 2/3 of their average daily pay based on the preceding month. For tipped employees, the employer doesn’t have to estimate tips. Instead, tipped employees need to be paid at least 2/3 the full minimum wage (or more if their hourly wage if higher) – and use their average daily pay for the previous month to calculate hours.
The paid sick leave ends if an employee receives a negative COVID-19 test result once the employee has been fever-free for 72 hours, with other symptoms resolving as well – but not earlier than after seven calendar days off from work, and in no event with more than fourteen paid sick days.
These rules do not require an employer to offer additional days of paid sick leave if they already offer all employees an amount of paid leave sufficient to comply with the Rules.
Free ServSafe video on Coronavirus considerations: click here.
Rent payments are one of the most common financial burdens for operators the COVID-19 pandemic. Access to rent and mortgage assistance is scarce, and businesses who are received their PPP funding may only use 25% of their loan amount towards rent and mortgage interest payments.
It may be beneficial for businesses to contact their landlord to work on a payment plan. Be honest and transparent with them, and tell them that you cannot fulfill all the requirements of your lease agreement because of COVID-19 closures and mandates. Ask if they would be willing to negotiate a plan that will work for both of you during these unprecedented times.
In order to begin the process, you must first understand your lease obligations and specifically what you will be asking for.
Have a clear plan with specific requests arranged before you reach out to your landlord, and be ready to negotiate. If you need legal advice, please contact us at email@example.com to be referred to an attorney in our legal resource center.
ECOLab Sanitation Check-list
Alcohol To-Go and Delivery
Governor Polis issued an executive order allowing restaurants to sell alcohol for off-premise consumption via takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup. Please consider the following:
Best Practices for Safe Food Takeout and Delivery Services
National Restaurant Consultants (NRC) and the Colorado Restaurant Association are providing as a service to the foodservice and hospitality industry additional information for restaurants implementing delivery service utilizing their own staff members due to the dining closures of restaurants in Colorado. This resource contains guidelines for managers, an official policy template, and templates for forms you may need to implement delivery using your own staff. Find the document here.
National Restaurant Consultants is a leading national restaurant consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado.
To limit person-to-person interaction, delivery drivers are encouraged to drop-off food deliveries at a customer’s front door, or in the lobby of their building. The goal is to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from one another during the delivery transaction.
How to keep your delivery drivers safe, from Pinnacol.
Insurance Considerations for Takeout and Delivery
Businesses should also review their current insurance coverage to ensure that they are covered for “hired non-owned auto policies” if they are going to be conducting their deliveries with their staff as opposed to using a third party delivery service.
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) took action to protect Colorado insurance consumers and reduce insurance delays for restaurants and workers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Our partners at Crest Restaurant Insurance explain: The State changed 2 pertinent coverage exclusions for Delivery Drivers:
This regulation expands coverage for individuals and restaurants who are adequately insured and acting in the course of employment/business operations.
To access this assistance, send an email succinctly stating what your issue is to COVIDLegal@CORestaurant.org.