As you may recall, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board met on November 17, 2022, to discuss whether to revise the proposed non-emergency COVID-19 regulation that the Board will vote to approve at its next meeting on December 15, 2022. Thankfully, the Board made clear that no changes will be made to the regulation, which will become effective on January 1, 2023, and remain in effect until December 31, 2024.
So, what do you need to know? The good news is that the new regulation is less burdensome for employers than the current version of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. For example:
- The regulation applies the CDPH’s current definition of “close contact”
- No exclusion pay is required
- Employers are not required to provide COVID testing at no cost and during paid time for employees who are experiencing COVID symptoms, but who did not have a close contact at work
- Employers may address COVID workplace measures within their existing Injury and Illness Prevention Plans
- Employers may avoid applying outbreak procedures when there is no more than one new COVID-19 case within the applicable 14-day period
The new regulation does impose more requirements with respect to ventilation. Employers must maximize the supply of outside air, employ the highest level of filtration efficiency compatible with existing mechanical ventilation systems, or use HEPA filtration units.
Call your favorite employment law attorney if you have questions.