For California employers, this means masking requirements are being relaxed and reverting to pre-Omicron guidelines. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks in public settings and all individuals are required to wear masks in high-risk settings, such as public transportation and congregate living spaces.
As an employer, this gives you more flexibility in your workplace. There are various requirements mandated by regional and county health officials. All California employers must abide by Cal OSHA’s “COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards”. These standards became effective last month and provide guidelines for face coverings, identifying COVID-19 hazards, how to respond to outbreaks, employee training requirements, and much more.
We are here to help you decipher what your business needs to do to be compliant. You are not alone in this. Please do not hesitate to contact us for help!
Some of the important changes effective in last month’s Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) include the following:
- Some of the definitions in the ETS were revised.
- COVID-19 test now includes specific instructions for workers using a test at home with self-read results. The employer or a telehealth professional must observe the use of the test.
- Face covering was updated to include more specific details on the different types of acceptable face coverings.
- Fully vaccinated now includes the minimum amount of time workers need to wait between the first and second dose of a two-dose vaccine.
- Employers must make COVID-19 testing available to fully vaccinated employees after close contact.
- The period of time before an employee can return to work after a close contact has been revised. Download Cal OSHA Handout.
- Employees who are fully vaccinated and cannot be tested must wear face coverings and physically distance (six feet) from others for 14 days to be exempt from the exclusion requirements after a close contact.
- During an outbreak, employers must make COVID-19 testing available to their employees on a weekly basis, regardless of vaccination status.
- During a major outbreak, employers must make COVID-19 testing available to their employees at least twice a week.
- Employer-provided transportation, fully vaccinated employees are no longer exempt from face-covering requirements.
Here is a link that provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Frequently Asked Questions (ca.gov). These standards became effective on January 14, 2022. You can check this link for future modifications to restrictions.
We are here to help! Please contact us if you need help with any of the following:
- Meeting Cal OSHA requirements.
- Create or update your employee handbook.
- Create or update your Injury Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). This is required by most California employers, regardless of size.
- Create or update your COVID-19 policy and required employee training.
We are also your HR Team of Experts for all your HR needs! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have in your business.