On June 17, 2022, Governor Newsom issued an executive order terminating certain provisions of prior executive orders related to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Some of the terminated orders were no longer necessary due to changes in the ETS. For example, previously the Governor had issued an executive order stating exclusion periods could not be longer than California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines or local ordinances. However, since the ETS now defers to CDPH guidance on isolation and quarantine, the Governor has rescinded his prior executive order on this issue. Moreover, Cal/OSHA has issued guidance for employers on COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine that aligns with CDPH requirements.
The current version of the ETS remains in effect until the end of 2022. However, Cal/OSHA won’t be done with COVID-19 regulations in 2023. The agency is currently working on a permanent COVID-19 Standard. Recently, the draft of the proposed regulation was released.
The draft regulation carries over many of the employer obligations from the current ETS. The following are some of the proposed requirements:
- COVID-19 procedures, either included in their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) or a separate document.
- Exclusion and prevention requirements for positive employees and close contacts.
- Employers would continue to be required to provide testing to employees who have a close contact in the workplace.
- Employers would continue to have notice requirements for COVID-19 exposure.
- Employers would continue to have to provide face coverings to employees.
- Employers would continue to have reporting and recordkeeping requirements for COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in the workplace.
Currently, no public hearing has been set for the proposed permanent COVID-19 Standard, so it is uncertain how soon the regulations may be implemented.