WHAT’S NEW IN 2023 PANDEMIC LEGACY « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Cal/OSHA Publishes “Non-Emergency” Regulations and Model COVID Prevention Program

California Governor Gavin Newsom will end the COVID-19 State of Emergency February 28, 2023.

Effective February 3, 2023, Cal/OSHA “non-emergency”/prevention regulations replaced the prior emergency temporary standards.  They apply to most California workers not covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases rules, to remain in effect for the next two years, the recordkeeping subsections for three years.

Under the new regulations, employers are no longer required to maintain a standalone COVID-19 Prevention Plan. Instead, employers must address and include their COVID-19 preventative procedures in their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) or in a separate document.

Employers must also:

  • Provide effective COVID-19 hazard prevention training;
  • Provide face coverings when required by CDPH and provide respirators upon request;
  • Identify COVID-19 health hazards and develop methods to prevent transmission in the workplace;
  • Investigate and respond to COVID-19 cases and close contacts;
  • Make testing available at no cost, including to all employees in the exposed group during an outbreak or a major outbreak;
  • Notify affected employees of COVID-19 cases in the workplace;
  • Maintain records of COVID-19 cases and immediately report serious illnesses to Cal/OSHA and to the local health department when required; and
  • Report major outbreaks to Cal/OSHA.

The revised regulations no longer require employers to pay employees while they are excluded from work. Instead, employers must provide information regarding ● COVID-19 related benefits potentially available under applicable laws; ● any applicable leave policies; ● and any leave guaranteed by contract.

Important changes to definitions:

  • “Close contact” is now defined by the size and nature of the workplace. For indoor airspaces of 400,000 or fewer cubic feet, “close contact” is sharing the same indoor airspace with a COVID-19 case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the case’s infectious period. For indoor airspaces of greater than 400,000 cubic feet, “close contact” is being within six feet of a COVID-19 case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the case’s infectious period.
  • “Exposed group” is clarified to include employer-provided transportation and employees residing within employer-provided housing covered by the COVID-19 prevention standards.

Cal/OSHA has published updated FAQs and its updated model COVID-19 Prevention Program.

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

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
February 15, 2023

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