Grocery Compliance Toolkit

compliancetoolbox_websitecopyDoing business in California is growing more difficult each year. Thousands of state and local agencies and departments regulate all aspects of our business – from our parking lots to our store shelves, to our stock rooms, to our warehouses, to our corporate offices.

Understanding and managing risks associated with complying with state regulations in the grocery industry is an increasingly complex and frustrating endeavor.

To assist CGA grocery retail members, the Association has created a Grocery Compliance Toolkit with accompanying seminars/webinars to explain retailer obligations and stay ahead of enforcement actions.




Compliance ToolKIT No. 7: food safety modernization act (FSMA)

In 2011, then-President Barrack Obama signed into law the most sweeping update to nation’s food safety law in decades – the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The complex law attempts to shift the food safety system to one that focuses on prevention and creates significant new obligations across many levels of the food system – producers, manufacturers, packers, shippers, and retailers.

You need to know your obligations under the new law to help avoid the potential for enforcement action. Our FSMA toolkit will help you understand requirements of the law, but also ways in which you can get into compliance.


(2017, UPDATE)

Operating a business in California is difficult, especially with policymakers and the courts continually expanding and redefining labor mandates. Employment law evolves quickly in the state, and your business could be caught unawares. In 2016, CGA and the CGA Educational Foundation included a Labor & Employment Law tool as one of the volumes in our compliance tool kit project. This year, we will update that tool to provide new information critical to your business.

Amendments to the Fair Pay Act
Ongoing minimum wage increases
Evolving transgender rights in the workplace
New and expanded requirements for workplace harassment prevention
Updates on major litigation in the arbitration, disability access, retaliation, and wage & hour arenas



California employers know that workers’ compensation costs and complications are greater here than in any other state. While workers certainly deserve fair treatment when injured on the job, California has managed to create an extremely complicated system that leaves employers open to liability as they attempt to navigate their obligations.

This toolkit will help you understand your obligations under the system and provide you with information on what to expect should you have a worker injured on the job. In addition, it will help highlight some of the current vulnerabilities for employers and ways that some workers have begun to abuse the system or file fraudulent claims.


COMPLIANCE TOOL NO. 4: Proposition 65

California recently enacted new Clear and Reasonable Warning regulations under Proposition 65 that will have a significant impact on your overall Prop. 65 compliance program.

This toolkit explains what is required, and how you may need to change the way you interact with your suppliers and customers to meet the new standards.

While clarification in the requirements was needed, it is now the obligation of retailers to meet these new, detailed standards. The Prop. 65 Grocery Compliance Toolkit can help you be prepared when the regulations take effect.

CGA has contracted with the San Francisco based law firm of ROGERS JOSEPH O’DONNELL , to create a comprehensive, user-friendly toolkit for Proposition 65 compliance.


COMPLIANCE TOOL NO. 3: Labor & Employment Law

California grocers face an increasingly complicated landscape of employer requirements. Making mistakes can be costly to unwind, even when errors are technical in nature. The toolkit will help you understand the many obligations you have as a business owner or operator, and help you avoid costly errors.

CGA has contracted with the San Francisco based law firm of ROGERS JOSEPH O’DONNELL , to create a comprehensive, user-friendly toolkit for Labor & Employment Law compliance.



  • Wage and hour compliance
  • Exempt vs. non-exempt employees
  • Meal and rest issues
  • Employee seating
  • Wage Statements
  • Protected employee leave
  • And more!


COMPLIANCE TOOL NO. 2: Americans with Disabilities Act

California’s grocers are increasingly seen as great targets for opportunistic drive-by ADA public access lawsuits. Despite recent changes to law, serial plaintiffs have continued to send demand letters and file frivolous lawsuits against grocers in an attempt to extract monetary settlements.

Often, these plaintiffs never actually enter a location or have access interfered with. They also frequently have no intention of working with businesses to help achieve compliance and actually improve access, if needed, for disabled individuals. The situation is especially frustrating for grocers given their commitment to serving the public and providing access to all potential customers.

CGA has contracted with the Sacramento-based law firm of Downey Brand LLP, to create a comprehensive, user-friendly toolkit for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.



  • Overview of public access law
  • Understanding obligations for landlords vs tenants
  • Parking and paths of travel
  • Signage
  • Merchandise access
  • Restrooms
  • Point of Sale Issues
  • Service Animals
  • Much more!



In recent years, local District Attorneys and the State of California have begun aggressive enforcement of hazardous waste disposal laws in the retail community. Several high profile, high dollar settlements have led some localities to push for fines as a mechanism to fund ongoing department operations.

The grocery industry is considered an easy target given the highly complex and technical nature of the myriad requirements. Definitions in the law make it difficult to determine which products are to be considered hazardous waste and therefore be handled separately.

Often, well-intended or unintentional consumer and employee behavior can lead to significant enforcement problems for grocers. And the high dollar settlements provide a powerful incentive for enforcement entities to prioritize punishment rather than work with the grocery industry to reach a better level of compliance.

CGA has contracted with Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the world’s leading sustainability consultancy, and the Sacramento-based law firm of Downey Brand LLP, to create this comprehensive, user-friendly toolkit for hazardous waste disposal.


  • Tools to help manage risk and reduce the possibility of enforcement action
  • State law compliance requirements
  • CGA Hazardous Waste Toolkit implement instructions for store level
  • Information on enforcement tactics


The Grocery Compliance Toolkit has been made possible by generous support from the CGA Educational Foundation. For more information on the Foundation, visit