Cal/OSHA: Written COVID-19 Prevention Plan requirements have been relaxed

Cal/OSHA has revised its Emergency Temporary Standards again. On May 6, the new revisions took effect. Employers are still required to develop, implement, and maintain a written COVID-19 Prevention Plan, but certain requirements have been relaxed:

  • Surface disinfecting requirements are now absent from the Standards.
  • Unvaccinated workers are no longer required to wear face coverings indoors.
  • The Standards no longer define a “fully vaccinated” person.
  • Social distancing is no longer required in most workplaces.
  • Masks are only required under specific circumstances.
  • COVID-19 tests may now be self-administered to meet return-to-work criteria, but these tests must be independently verifiable.

Certain requirements have been revised, or even expanded:

  • Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 and is cleared to return to work must wear a mask until 10 days have passed from the onset of symptoms, or from their first positive test, whether the employee is vaccinated or not.
  • All employees who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms must be tested, regardless of vaccination status.

Finally, some reminders for employers:

  • Employers must provide “exclusion pay” when an employee is excluded from work due to workplace exposure or infection.
  • Employers cannot require an employee to exhaust their COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave before providing the above-mentioned exclusion pay.

The OSHA landscape is ever-shifting and it can be difficult to stay on top of the constantly changing rules and regulations. Dunn DeSantis Walt & Kendrick is happy to help you navigate these often-murky waters.


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