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New law to protect workers during COVID-19 pandemic

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KION

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (KION) Pangea Grill in Carmel-by-the-Sea has had success seating customers outdoors. As more people stop by, safety precautions become an even bigger priority.

"We're definitely using disinfectant, bleaching and taking temperatures," said Ashley Wolff, Pangea Grill General Manager

Wolff said none of their employees have become infected with COVID-19. If they do, the state now will require them to report it to the local public health department. On top of that, all employees must be notified within one business day.

"A few months ago when there were cases popping up in different restaurants it was a little awkward to hear people talking. They would ask 'Why is this restaurant staying open?' 'Why are they allowed to do this?,'" said Wolff.

Wolff hopes the AB-685 will help squash any uncertainty in the future. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill alongside SB-1159 on Thursday.

SB-1159 aims to further protect health care workers and first responders. Employers will now be required to provide compensations should a staff member get sick on the job.

"We have to reconcile the realities, the disparities, that persist, that were made even more raw and real in this pandemic," said Newsom.

As business booms at Pangea Grill, the staff said they are 'okay' with the new rules as long as they can continue to keep their doors open.

"We're all in it together. We all want to come out together. We want to support one another and be on the same page," said Wolff.

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Megan Meier

Megan Meier is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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