WHAT’S NEW IN 2022 GOING THE DISTANCE « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Cal/OSHA Updates  Emergency Temporary Standards

On December 16, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Boardreadopted and revised the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to incorporate the latest California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance.  The revised ETS take effect on January 14, 2022  and apply to most California workers not covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.

Important ETS revisions include:

Post-exposure notification. Clarification on how to notify workers of potential COVID-19 workplace exposure within one business day.

Face covering. Types of acceptable face coverings and alternative requirements for those with medical or mental health-related conditions.

Testing. Post-exposure testing must be available to everyone in the exposed workgroup, even asymptomatic fully-vaccinated employees.

Exclusion/return to work criteria. The “close contact” return-to-work timeframes now comport with current CDPH guidelines:

  • All recently-recovered COVID cases (i.e., those with natural immunity) and all fully-vaccinated, asymptomatic close contacts may return to work immediately after close contact so long as they (i) wear a face covering, (ii) maintain six feet of distance from others for 14 days, and (iii) receive CDPH’s recommended “close contact” precautions.
  • All unvaccinated asymptomatic close contacts may return to work with face coverings either: (i) after 14 days from close contact with no physical distancing requirements; (ii) after 10 days with physical distancing for 14 days; or (iii) after seven days upon receipt of a negative test at least five days after close contact with physical distancing for 14 days.

Unchanged requirements include:

  • Establishing, implementing and maintaining an effective written COVID-19 prevention program (CPP);
  • Providing effective training to employees to prevent the spread; and
  • Relaying instructions regarding certain COVID-19 benefits for affected employees.

Cal/OSHA also issued a new fact sheet and will presumably publish an updated Model CPPin English and Spanish in the coming weeks.

Employers must also follow either their local health department’s indoor mask mandate, such as LA County’s public health order, or the latest CDPH order.

We will address these ETS revisions more fully in our upcoming employment law webinar.

See also:

For more information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth
December 22, 2021

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