COVID-19 Employers’ Requirements Update

Employment Law  

June 18, 2021

Yesterday, Cal/OSHA 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