Effective as of January 14, 2022, Cal/OSHA has revised past COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to keep in line with CDPH and federal OSHA guidelines. While employers will have to keep these in mind so as to follow public health orders, employees should also be aware of these changes to ensure they also understand the impact of these laws on them.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue diving into the evolving landscape of COVID-19 and workplace laws in California. Stay tuned for discussions on the arrival of civil lawsuits for third parties infected by COVID-positive workers, and the potential for COVID sick leave to return to California employees who are out of work.
Some of the recent ETS changes pertain to the evolving definitions of certain items. For example, the term “COVID-19 test” now includes at-home tests with self-read results. The term “face covering” has been updated to be more specific about which face coverings are acceptable. Furthermore, being “fully vaccinated” now includes the minimum wait time between the first and second doses of two-dose vaccines.
Other items, such as employer provisions and guidelines for fully vaccinated workers, have been revised as well. Employers are now required to provide COVID-19 tests to vaccinated employees after reporting close contact, which wasn’t mandated for vaccinated employees in the past ETS. Additionally, no matter whether they’ve received a booster, employees that are exempt from testing due to CDPH quarantine guidance are mandated to wear face coverings and distance from others for two weeks.
Lastly, workers can expect their employers to provide COVID-19 testing on a weekly basis, no matter their vaccination status. This increases to twice per week during major company outbreaks, or even more if ordered by the local health department. The new guidelines extend to transportation as well, with fully vaccinated workers no longer exempt from wearing face coverings while using employer-provided transportation.
Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. Furthermore, she’s been named a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.
Reddock-Wright has also launched her own radio show, Legal Lens with Angela Reddock-Wright, airing on Tavis Smiley’s new KBLA Talk 1580 radio station on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. PT with replays on subsequent Sundays. Listeners may tune-in by downloading the APP @kbla1580 and call the PowerLines at 1-800-920-1580.
For more information regarding resources for employers, businesses, and employees during this time, connect with her on LinkedIn for new updates, or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.
This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.
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