Latest Cal/OSHA Rules

“I’m so confused about COVID precautions as my employees are returning to the office. What’s the latest?”

Your HR Survival Tip

By now, everyone is used to COVID-related information changing frequently. In fact, we are so used to the constant changes that we believe a lot of companies aren’t paying attention anymore. As vaccinations increase and positive cases go down, it’s understandable. However, Cal/OSHA is still trying to make the workplace safe and has issued new regulations that begin June 15th. Cal/OSHA is the California division of OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

We have provided a simplified list but it may pay to review all the regulations.

  • Masks, part 1 — Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask anywhere… except when they are working indoors with unvaccinated coworkers. Unless everyone has been vaccinated, you must still adhere to wearing masks at work and maintaining social distancing.

  • Masks, part 2 — Companies are required to stock and provide N95 masks for employees who have not been vaccinated (at no cost to the employee). This new regulation requires you to offer only N95 masks at work. However, the use of the N95 masks is voluntary for employees who have not been vaccinated. This is the same mask that was in such demand by hospital personnel last year.

  • Social Distancing — This will no longer be required after July 31st, but you must continue social distancing until then.

  • Vaccination Proof — If you are dropping any COVID safety rules because your employees are “fully vaccinated,” you’ll be required to have proof from employees of vaccinations. There are still discussions going on as to what documentation is allowed or required but, for now, a copy of their vaccination card should work. Keep these in a confidential file as you would any other medical document.

  • Exposures and Symptoms — Fully vaccinated employees no longer need to be tested or quarantined even if they are exposed to COVID. Employees who have not been vaccinated must be provided company-paid testing and, possibly, paid time off to quarantine.

  • Notice to Employees — You are required to verbally inform certain employees about these new rules. If the employee has a limited ability to read published notices, tell them what the notice says to ensure understanding.

Compared to what we’ve gone through over the past 1.5 years, the new regs aren’t too bad. It is generally understood Cal/OSHA’s new regulations don’t exactly line up with CDC advice. However, if you have employees in California, Cal/OSHA rules.

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