On June 17, 2021, at the end of yet another chaotic day in administrative rulemaking, California’s new COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) finally became effective. The ETS bring substantial changes to the COVID-19 regulatory requirements with which employers have struggled since California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) initial ETS took effect almost 7 months ago, on November 30, 2020.
Earlier on June 17, 2021, Cal/OSHA’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board of approved Cal/OSHA’s most recent COVID-19 revisions with 6 aye votes and 1 no vote. Board Member Laura Stock was the lone vote against the regulation update.
The Standards Board again conducted its meeting via an online platform with more than 900 people attending. Both Eric Berg and Corey Friedman from Cal/OSHA advised the Board regarding the proposed regulation, face coverings, N95s, vaccination documentation, and other issues. Public comment was limited to two hours with each speaker limited to two minutes.
Although ordinarily the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) may take up to 10 calendar days to review emergency regulations that agencies submit to them, the governor issued Executive Order N-09-21 and suspended the 10-day requirement. The OAL filed the regulations with the secretary of state, who posted them, making them effective immediately.
COVID-19 Regulation Highlights
Here are some of the highlights of California’s new COVID-19 ETS. The ETS: