Though California has mostly lifted COVID-19 requirements statewide, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board is not planning to let the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) expire. Per Governor Newsom’s executive order, the expiration of the second readoption of the ETS was extended to May 6, 2022, but the Cal/OSHA’s Standards Board has posted a notice that it plans to readopt a third version of the ETS at its upcoming meeting on April 21, 2022.

The proposed third adoption makes some changes to the ETS previously in effect. Some of the more significant changes include:

  • Elimination of the requirement that face coverings pass the “light test” (e., does not let light pass through when held up to a light source).
  • Addition of a new term, “returned case,” which means an individual who returns to work after testing positive for COVID-19 and did not develop any COVID-19 symptoms after a return.
  • Employers are not required to make COVID-19 testing available to returned cases.
  • Removal of some of the cleaning and disinfection requirements previously required.
  • Deferment to California Department of Public Health guidance for exclusion and return to work criteria.

If passed, the third readoption would be the final version of the ETS and per the Governor’s Executive Order may not remain in effect beyond December 31, 2022.

Jackson Lewis will continue to monitor changes in COVID-19 guidance and regulations in the workplace. If you have questions about the Cal/OSHA emergency temporary standards or related workplace safety issues, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you often work or any member of our Workplace Safety and Health Team.