COVID-19: Brown Act, Unemployment, and Retiree Work Rules Impacted by New Executive Order

Keenan Briefings


COVID-19: Brown Act, Unemployment, and Retiree Work Rules Impacted by New Executive Order

March 14, 2020

On March 12, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-25-20, which, among other things, does the following:

  • Gives the Employment Development Division (EDD) discretion to waive the one-week waiting period in the Unemployment Insurance Code for disability insurance applicants who are unemployed and disabled as a result of COVID-19, and for unemployment insurance applicants who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19.
  • Suspends reinstatement and work hour limitations for retired annuitants, permanent and intermittent personnel and state management and senior supervisors. (The Director of the California Department of Human Resources must be notified of any individual employed pursuant to these waivers.)
  • Authorizes local legislative bodies to hold public meetings via teleconferencing while waiving some of the legal requirements for teleconference meetings under the Brown Act.

With regard to the Brown Act provisions that apply to local agencies, the Executive Order specifically suspends any otherwise-applicable requirements that:

  • Local bodies notice each teleconference location from which a member will be participating in a public meeting;
  • Each teleconference location be accessible to the public;
  • Members of the public may address the body at each teleconference conference location;
  • Local bodies post agendas at all teleconference locations; and
  • During teleconference meetings, at least a quorum of the members of the local body participate from locations within the boundaries of the territory over which the local body exercises jurisdiction.

Those provisions are suspended, so long as:

  • Each local body give advance notice of each public meeting under the timeframe and using the means prescribed in the Brown Act; and
  • Each local body notice at least one publicly accessible location from which members of the public shall have the right to observe and offer public comment at the public meeting. Such right of access and public comment must be made available in a manner consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Executive Order also provides that local bodies are “urged to use sound discretion and to make reasonable efforts to adhere as closely as reasonably possible to the provisions of the Brown Act, and all other applicable local laws regulating the conduct of public meetings, in order to maximize transparency and provide the public access to their meetings.

While this Executive Order remains in effect, Keenan will work closely with customers and the Governing Boards we support to assist with compliance. We will continue to keep you informed as additional information or updates to this Executive Order becomes available.

The full Executive Order can be found at

Please contact your Keenan representative with any questions.

Keenan & Associates is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Clients are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the clients’ business activities.