In November 2020, Cal OSHA passed the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Currently, the Standards are set to expire on October 2, 2021.

As outlined in prior articles, the ETS require that employers:

  • Establish, implement, and maintain an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program.
  • Implement COVID-19 preventative measures.
  • Report information to their local health department.
  • Retain records related to COVID-19 cases in the workplace in a confidential manner.
  • Exclude workers known to have COVID-19 or who have had exposure.
  • Identify and manage COVID-19 infections and outbreaks in the workplace.

Unfortunately, the ETS are already lagging behind federal and state guidance pertaining to COVID-19. In particular, the ETS do not take into consideration guidance from the CDC regarding fully vaccinated individuals.

At the Cal OSHA Standard Board meeting on April 15th, several public commenters admonished the Standard Board about the lack of guidance from Cal OSHA or in the ETS regarding vaccinated individuals. The Standard Board disclosed that revisions to the ETS, including revisions about vaccinated individuals are in progress. Though it would be difficult due to tight timelines, the Standard Board hoped to have revisions passed by June, when California is tentatively set to fully reopen.

Jackson Lewis will continue to track developments pertaining to Cal OSHA regulations and requirements. If you have questions about the ETS or related compliance issues contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.