Cal/OSHA’s Revisions to COVID-19 Workplace Protocols

As Californian’s readjust to the state’s reopening, a new rule has lifted even more restrictions. On June 17th, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted 5-1 to approve the revised Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. This means people who are fully vaccinated  are no longer required to wear masks in the workplace. The new rule also eliminates physical distancing requirements. In addition, face coverings are not required outdoors regardless of someone’s vaccination status.

These new guidelines are now consistent between Cal/OSHA, the CDC and the California Department of Public Health. Earlier this month, California’s workplace regulators reversed their course on updated mask regulations twice within a week. The controversial decisions were made in order to consider a rule that more closely aligned with Governor Newsom’s promise to fully reopen the state. Following the board’s vote, the Governor issued an executive order to forgo the normal 10-day approval process and the new rules went into effect on June 18th, 2021.

Cal/OSHA Deputy Chief Eric Berg said under the new guidelines, masks could still be required during outbreaks, and N95 respirator masks had to be available for employees who work indoors or with other people upon request.

In order to keep track of employee vaccination statuses, employers must document whether or not their workers are vaccinated; however, they are not required to have copies of vaccination cards. 

The new regulations also laid out guidelines for businesses and venue operators in settings where masks would still be required for those who are unvaccinated. Those rules include:

  • Providing information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allowing vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry unless otherwise exempt.
  • Implementing vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
  • Requiring all patrons to wear masks despite their vaccination status.
  • No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.

Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator 

Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues.

Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.

Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California dispute resolution company.  She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.

For more information regarding resources for employers, businesses, and employees during this time, connect with her on LinkedIn for new updates, or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.

This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.

 

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