What’s New?

New COVID-19 Regulation Approved!

by Jennifer Shaw | | February 6, 2023

On February 3, 2023, the California Office of Administrative Law finally approved the COVID-19 Non-Emergency Regulation. The new regulation is effective until February 3, 2025, with recordkeeping requirements applicable through February 3, 2026.

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 prior 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.

Be sure and review the new regulations and Cal/OSHA’s resource page here, which includes fact sheets, FAQs, a COVID-19 model written program and other resources. You likely also will need to revise your COVID-19 procedures. Call your favorite employment law attorney if you have questions.

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