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Public
Health
Councils

In the fall of 2020, the County prioritized four business sectors that were experiencing significant numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks, complaints, and violations for the pilot Public Health Councils program. Prioritized sectors included apparel manufacturing, food manufacturing, warehousing and storage, and restaurants; a fifth sector, groceries and supermarkets, was later added.

Public Health Councils are comprised of workers that conduct peer-to-peer education with their co-workers, identify potential Health Officer Orders (HOOs) violations, and work to increase HOO compliance at their worksite.

Interested in learning more about creating a Public Health Councils at your worksite? Email: DPH-PHCouncils@ph.lacounty.gov

Sections on this page:

About Resources Background Materials

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Report COVID-19 and Public Health Issues

Call Center: (888) 700-9995
Monday - Friday, 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Submit an online complaint

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File an Anti-Retaliation Complaint

Call Center: 1-800-593-8222
Submit an online complaint


About (Questions & Answers)

The lack of compliance with Los Angeles County’s Health Officer Orders (HOOs) in workplaces has contributed significantly to COVID-19 outbreaks, illness and deaths. The virus is not affecting all communities equally, with under-resourced communities and communities of color experiencing disproportionate burden. HOOs are mandated and legally enforceable directives that businesses are required to implement to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces and in the community. The pilot Public Health Councils program expands the Department of Public Health’s capacity to increase compliance with HOOs in the five identified sectors.

The County’s intent with this initiative is to keep people safe, keep businesses open, and support the economic recovery of the region. Our goal is to ensure that all businesses are fully implementing the required Health Officer Orders to prevent COVID-19 transmission and ensure that the region can get back on its feet economically as safely and quickly as possible. This initiative is also working to increase awareness among workers and employers about the importance of vaccination, address vaccine hesitancy, and provide opportunities for vaccination, including hosting local vaccine clinics. The Public Health Councils initiative is intended to make sure both employees and employers have the education and information they need to support the health of workers in these five sectors.

Public Health Councils (PHCs) are voluntary and may be started by workers at any business in the apparel manufacturing, food manufacturing, warehousing and storage, restaurant, and grocery store sectors. It only takes two workers to form a PHC. Community-based organizations (CBOs) assist Public Health in informing workers about the opportunity to form a PHC and increase awareness among workers about the importance of implementing Health Officer Orders (HOOs), the benefits of vaccination and their rights regarding sick time and pay. These CBOs have experience providing outreach, education, and technical assistance to workers and advising them on workplace and health related issues. CBO staff are trained by the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program and the Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health and certified by Public Health on the HOOs.

Employers in prioritized sectors are encouraged, but not required, to allow workers to hold formal one-hour, weekly PHC meetings during regular business hours to support Health Officer Order (HOO) implementation. Employers are encouraged to collaborate with PHCs that may be formed by their workers on the implementation of HOOs. If your worksite has an established collective bargaining agreement, the exclusive representative that is a party to the collective bargaining agreement may choose to function as the PHC.

Regardless of what sector you work in you can and should report perceived violations of HOOs to Public Health. If the business is located in the cities of Long Beach, Pasadena, or Vernon you will need to file a complaint with their respective health departments. Complaints for all other jurisdictions in Los Angeles County can be filed online or by calling 1.888.700.9995, Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm. Complaints can be filed anonymously. Investigators from Public Health’s Division of Environmental Health typically respond in 24 hours and will conduct an inspection of the site.

When filing a complaint include the following information:

  • What is the potential violation? Is it an ongoing issue?
  • When and where did the violation occur or is occurring? (i.e. What shift, department, area in the facility)
  • Who is or was involved?
  • Identify the type of work is performed at this worksite
  • Provide the size of the worksite (Approximate number of workers)
  • Provide the best days and times for an inspector to visit the worksite to investigate this concern
  • Describe the areas inside and outside the worksite that should be inspected (e.g. areas where the violation occurred, places workers gather, etc.)
  • Identify if any workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and if so, how many if known.

If an employer or employee knows of three or more cases of COVID-19 among workers within a span of 14 days, the employer must report this outbreak to the Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993 or (213) 240-7821 or online at www.redcap.link/covidreport.

On November 24, 2020 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a new ordinance entitled “Preventing Retaliation for Reporting Public Health Violations.” The ordinance prohibits retaliation against workers who belong to or form a PHC, or who discuss or report their employer’s or another worker’s perceived noncompliance with Health Officer Orders (HOOs) or Title 11 of the Los Angeles County Code. If you feel you have been retaliated against by your employer, you can file a complaint with the County here or by calling 800.593.8222.

Resources


Background Materials

The Public Health Councils Program was initiated in response to a motion from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on November 10, 2020. Learn more about the history of the Public Health Councils Program and the related Anti-Retaliation Ordinance by reviewing the Board motions and staff reports linked below:

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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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