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Third Times the Charm? Cal-OSHA Adopts Updated Covid-19 ETS!

Last night, June 17, 2021, the Cal-OSHA Standards Board voted to adopt the Revised Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). These new ETS revisions are a departure from the previously proposed, and later withdrawn revisions, that we wrote about previously (Updates to Cal-OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards Pending Approval). The latest version of the ETS now aligns more closely with the latest guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control on the use of face coverings and social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated, as well as outlines requirements for employees who remain unvaccinated. Some of the revisions include:

  • Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or excluded from work after close contact unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear face coverings except for certain situations during outbreaks and in settings where CDPH requires all persons to wear them. Employers must document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated employees if they do not wear face coverings indoors.
  • Employees are not required to wear face coverings when outdoors regardless of vaccination status except for certain employees during outbreaks.
  • Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtration efficiency and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems.

In a turn of events, Governor Newsome issued an Executive Order that enables the revisions to take effect without the normal 10-day waiting period usually required and effective upon the Office of Administrative Law’s (“OAL”) filing of the Revised ETS that may be filed and go into effect as early as today.

While the newly updated ETS standards are less stringent than the previous ETS standards issued in November 2020, Employers are still required to comply with these Covid-19 regulations and comply with their county-specific requirements. Employers should revisit their Covid-19 protocols and update their Covid-19 Prevention Plans to ensure their workplace is compliant and their employees are aware of the changes.  To learn more about these new changes and how they will affect your business, please contact the Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt.

This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500. (photo credit: 123rf.com)

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