Cal/OSHA Adopts Temporary Emergency Standard – Heavy COVID-19 Protocols for Employers
In November, Cal/OSHA adopted a temporary emergency standard, imposing substantial new COVID-19 testing, reporting, and documentation requirements on California employers. The new standard is an apparent over-reach by Cal/OSHA, since it also mandates that employees who are excluded from work for COVID-related reasons continue to receive earnings, seniority, benefits, and a right to reinstatement. The new temporary standard went into effect on November 30, 2020, and will last for 180 days, unless extended. It applies to all California businesses, except for single-employee businesses where the employee has no contact with other people, businesses where employees are working remotely, and businesses such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, medical offices, and other specific health care facilities.