Cal/OSHA Voted To Approve Revised ETS Standards Bringing More Comfort to The Workplace

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Yesterday, the Cal/OSHA standards board approved the revised Emergency Temporary Standards, posted on Friday, June 11.  While the ETS were approved without revision and will take effect Monday, June 21, Governor Newsom has indicated that he will issue an executive order to make them effective immediately.  Fully-vaccinated employees, those at least two weeks after their final vaccine dose of an authorized vaccine, who provide proof of their vaccination status, are allowed to work without a face mask in most workplaces.  Further, fully-vaccinated employees will not be required to quarantine after a close contact, provided they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.  Employers need to document which employees are fully-vaccinated by requesting a copy of the employee’s vaccination card or by having an employee self-attest to their full-vaccination status.  The revised regulations do not state how to maintain the information, but an employer should maintain a copy of proof of vaccination or the employer’s record of vaccination status in the event of any future inquiry from Cal/OSHA.  DFEH FAQ.  Employees who refuse to provide such information or who refuse to vaccinate must continue to wear face masks at work (unless working alone in a room or if a disability prevents them from wearing a mask or a shield, in which case they may be excluded from the workplace) and must quarantine after close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.  An employer must provide respirators (1) to any unvaccinated employee who works with others indoors or in a vehicle and who requests one and (2) where there is a major outbreak, to any employees in the exposed group for voluntary use.  The respirator must be the right size, and the employee must receive basic instruction on how to get a good “seal,” or fit.  Employers must continue to have a written COVID-19 prevention plan, provide effective training on how to avoid exposure and the efficacy of the vaccines; offer COVID testing after potential exposure and report outbreaks.  For a complete recap of the revised ETS, review this blog.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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