COVID-19 Employers’ Requirements Update

Downey Brand LLP

Yesterday, the Cal/OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), and Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to allow those revisions to take immediate effect. Some of these changes are summarized below.

  • No face coverings are required outdoors (except during outbreaks) regardless of vaccination status.
  • Employers may allow employees to self-attest to their vaccination status, or may require proof, but must document employee vaccination status to qualify any employees as “fully vaccinated”.
  • Employers may allow fully vaccinated employees to not wear face coverings indoors (except in some situations, and during outbreaks).
  • Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or excluded from work after close contact unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Employers must offer testing to employees who are not fully vaccinated and exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Employers must provide employees who are not fully vaccinated with approved respirators (including N95 masks) for voluntary use upon request.
  • The State of California is providing a one-month supply of N95 respirators to businesses for unvaccinated employees to adjust; that link is included below.
  • Physical distancing and barrier requirements have been removed regardless of vaccination status (with outbreak exceptions).
  • Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtration efficiency, and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems.

Employers must still:

  • have an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Plan;
  • provide effective training and instruction to employees regarding that plan and the employee’s rights under the ETS;
  • provide notification to the public health department of outbreaks;
  • provide notification to employees of exposure and close contacts; and
  • offer testing to employees after potential exposures.

This is a summary of some of the most relevant adopted changes but is not all-inclusive. Please see the resources below for more information.

  • Employer COVID-19 workplace requirements, resources, and N95 distribution resources – view here
  • Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards FAQ – view here
  • What Employers Need to Know About the Recommended Revisions – view here

[View source.]

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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