We previously covered the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that the California Division of Occupation Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) released back in November of 2020. Now we have an update for you that we hope helps RPNA’s clients.
As of June 17, 2021, Cal/OSHA approved revisions to the ETS that reflect the current health guidance concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. These revisions are effective immediately.
Most of the original regulations remain unchanged. However, there are a few significant modifications as they relate to the vaccination requirements and the planned easing of federal, state, and local restrictions, including the following:
The Standards now define “fully vaccinated” as any person that received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine.
Clarifying the definition of “face coverings” to specifically exclude scarfs, ski masks, balaclavas, bandanas, turtlenecks, collars, or any covering consisting of a single layer of fabric.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated must wear masks when indoors or in vehicles.
When an employer has documentation confirming that an employee is fully vaccinated, the employee may go without a mask.
Employees who lack documentation confirming their vaccination status must be treated as unvaccinated for all purposes under the Standards (i.e. must wear masks).
Employers are no longer required to exclude employees from the workplace after exposure to a COVID-19 case under limited circumstances.
Employers do not need to pay exclusion pay if the employee received disability benefits or was covered by workers’ compensation or the employer demonstrates that the exposure to COVID-19 was not work related.
Significantly, the previous physical distancing and/or barriers requirements have been eliminated under most circumstances.
While the main implication of the updated regulations is that restrictions and compliance will be much easier for vaccinated workplaces in the future, the updates are significant and too numerous to cover fully in this article.
Employers are being encouraged to contact counsel to discuss compliance.
If you have any questions about the new Standards please contact Nicholas Roxborough at (818) 992-9999, ext. 222, Drew Pomerance at ext. 212, Michael Adreani, at ext. 234, Marina Vitek, at ext. 236, or Trevor Witt, at ext. 224. Thank you and stay safe!