Cal/OSHA Re-Revised Rules

Once again, we have revised regulations regarding masks at work. Cal/OSHA (California Occupational Safety and Health Agency) approved new regulations only two weeks ago and almost immediately pulled them back for further review. The biggest problem was their regs still weren’t in alignment with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). This isn’t the first time this has happened but we don’t know why Cal/OSHA continues to send mixed messages.

The revised regulations are now in effect. There are a few changes to what was published previously and better align with the CDC recommendations. We have listed a few highlights:

  • Fully vaccinated employees no longer need to wear a mask at all indoors or outdoors, except in the case of an outbreak (3+ cases in 2 weeks).
  • Fully vaccinated employees no longer need to be quarantined if they have no symptoms, even if exposed to a positive COVID case.
  • Companies are required to have proof of vaccination if allowing employees to work without a mask. A copy of their vaccination card or a written attestation can be the proof you need but they are still discussing this. We are recommending you see and make a copy of the vaccination card for your files… and keep the copy in their confidential medical file.
  • Non-vaccinated employees and those who choose not to provide proof of vaccination must continue to wear a mask while at work or in vehicles.
  • Companies must have available N95 masks for those who request one or obtain one when requested. You may not substitute another mask or charge the employee for the mask.
  • Social distancing has basically been eliminated with a few exceptions, such as when there is a COVID outbreak, when unvaccinated employees are eating or drinking, or when an employee is unable to wear a mask due to certain conditions.

The reward for being vaccinated is freedom from masks. That may help sway those who are still on the fence about being vaccinated. However, be careful not to retaliate against employees who are not vaccinated or those who choose not to show proof of vaccination. Just revise and distribute your COVID safety policy so everyone understands the new rules and what you now expect from employees at work.

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