In November 2020, Cal/OSHA issued COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards requiring employers to adopt and implement a written COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP).   Although COVID-19 restrictions in California have eased, employers are still required to have a CPP, and recent changes require revisions to your CPP.

On June 17, 2021, Cal/OSHA’s Standards Board approved several revisions to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards.  The revised temporary standards include some important changes to workplace rules, including:

  • Fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors, except during outbreaks, or where the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires mask wearing, such as in public transit, K-12 educational facilities, and health care settings.
  • Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be tested or excluded from work after close contact with someone who has COVID-19 unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Masks are not required to be worn outside, including by those persons not vaccinated.
  • Physical distancing has been eliminated except where the employer determines there is a hazard or during a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Employees who are not vaccinated must wear face coverings when indoors and when participating in indoor COVID-19 screening.
  • Employees who are not vaccinated may request respirators, such as N95 masks, for voluntary use at no cost to them.
  • Employers must maintain a record of employees’ vaccination status and keep that record confidential.
  • Employers may not retaliate against employees who choose to wear face coverings.

Though the revised temporary standards include many changes, some key requirements remain.  Employers must:

  • Have an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program.
  • Provide effective training and instruction to employees on the employer’s prevention plan and employee rights under the Emergency Temporary Standards.
  • Provide notice to public health departments of outbreaks.
  • Provide notice to employees of exposure to and close contacts with a COVID-19 case.
  • Offer COVID-19 testing to employees at no cost after potential exposures.
  • Comply with Cal/OSHA requirements for responding to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks.
  • Comply with quarantine and exclusion pay requirements.
  • Follow prevention requirements for employer-provided housing and transportation.

To ensure compliance with the current revised temporary standards, Cal/OSHA has developed a revised COVID-19 Model Prevention Program to help employers developing or revising their written COVID-19 Prevention Programs.  Employers can access the revised model program by visiting The employment law attorneys at Fenton & Keller are available to help employers draft or revise their COVID-19 Prevention Program.