Employment Law Alert: May 6, 2022 Revisions to Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards

May 27, 2022

Cal/OSHA revised the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) with an effective date of May 6, 2022. Cal/OSHA updated their FAQs to reflect the revisions, and published an updated COVID-19 Model Prevention Program (available on their website).

Below are some of the most significant changes to the ETS:

  • The definition of “fully vaccinated” was deleted and is no longer used in the revised ETS. All protections in the ETS (e.g., face coverings, respirators, testing) now apply regardless of an employee’s vaccination status.
  • Face coverings are mandatory in the ETS when required by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Employers should review the CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Masks and comply with those requirements.
  • Employers must provide respirators to employees who request them for voluntary use regardless of vaccination status.
  • The definition of “COVID-19 test” was revised to make it easier to use self-administered and self-read tests. Under the revised ETS, a video or observation of the test process is no longer necessary. A date/time-stamped photo of the test result will now be sufficient.
  • Employers are required to make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during paid time to employees with COVID-19 symptoms regardless of vaccination status and regardless of whether there is a known exposure. COVID-19 testing must also be made available to employees who had a close contact in the workplace, during outbreaks, and during major outbreaks.
  • Employers must follow CDPH guidelines for employees who had close contact or test positive for COVID-19 and implement isolation and quarantine measures in accordance with those guidelines.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting requirements were deleted from the revised ETS.

Employers should update their written COVID-19 Prevention Program to comply with the revised ETS requirements, and comply with the other requirements in the revised regulations.

Word Search