On June 18, 2020, Governor Newsom issued a new Executive Order broadly requiring persons in California to wear face coverings while outside the home, including in the workplace. Although many counties in California already require face coverings in public and/or when social distancing is not possible, California employers should adopt compliant policies as part of a comprehensive COVID-19 safety protocol and to comply with this statewide mandate.

Workers in California are required to wear face coverings whenever:

  • Interacting in-person with the public;
  • Working in any space visited by the public, regardless of whether anyone is present;
  • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution;
  • Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairwells, elevators, and parking facilities;
  • In any room or enclosed area where other people are present when unable to physically distance (i.e. whenever it is not possible to maintain a distance of six feet from others); and
  • Driving or operating any public transportation, taxi, or private car service when passengers are present.

Face coverings are also required outside whenever social distancing is not possible, as well as inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space.

Best Practices: To maintain compliance with the California Labor Code, employers must provide all employees with required face coverings or reimburse them for the cost of acquiring their own. As a practical matter, workplace face covering policies should require employees to wear a face covering whenever the employee is not seated at their desk (assuming the workplace is configured for social distancing) and/or whenever an employee could potentially be around others.

Make sure your worksite-specific safety plan is updated to include these face covering requirements, in addition to other requirements, like employee COVID-19 trainings and employee health screenings (which may include employee temperature checks, if required by local law or as desired).

We are available to assist employers that have recently re-opened, employers that have remained operational, and those that are experiencing issues related to COVID-19 workplace exposures and/or infections with a review of and recommendations for their worksite COVID-19 safety plan, including face covering policies, employee health screening questionnaires, and temperature check best practices. Do not hesitate to contact us for compliance assistance during these fast-evolving times.

CategoryCOVID-19, News

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