CalOSHA Updates its FAQ on its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Regulations

As we reported in early December, CalOSHA adopted emergency temporary regulations requiring, among other things, that employers implement a written COVID-19 prevention program, that notice be given by employers to employees in the event of potential COVID-19 exposure, and that employers continue to pay employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 even if the employee has no paid time off available. In conjunction with the emergency temporary regulations,  CalOSHA posted a FAQ on the emergency regulations.

On February 26, 2021, CalOSHA updated its FAQ. Among other things, the updated FAQ updates the following sections of the FAQ:

  • Scope of Coverage: Clarifies that the emergency regulations apply even to workplaces with only one employee but that it does not apply to employees working remotely.
  • Enforcement: Clarifies that after February 1, 2021, the two-month compliance grace period will end, and that after February 1, 2021, CalOSHA will begin assessing monetary penalties on employers failing to comply with the emergency regulations.
  • COVID-19 Prevention Program: Clarifies the elements required to be contained in a written COVID-19 prevention program or included in an existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).
  • Communication with Employees: Clarifies the information that must be communicated to employees.
  • Physical Distancing, Face Coverings and Other Controls: Clarifies the requirements for physical distancing including the measurement of distances, use of solid partitions (such as Plexiglass barriers), when solid partitions are required, and how large such partitions are required to be.
  • Ventilation: Clarifies ventilation requirements for employers who lease and do not own their workspaces and application of those requirements to employers who have processes to prevent the use of outdoor air.
  • Vaccines: Clarifies application of the emergency regulations to employees who have been vaccinated.
  • Testing: Clarifies the testing requirements applicable to employers.
  • Outbreaks and the Exposed Workplace”: Clarifies the requirements applicable to “exposed workplaces” where a COVID-19 case has been identified.
  • Exclusion Pay and Benefits: Clarifies the requirements of maintaining the pay of employees who have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Waivers of Exclusion Requirements Based on Community Health and Safety: Clarifies the requirements for seeking a waiver from the emergency regulation’s rules preventing COVID-19 exposed and COVID-19 positive employees from returning to work.
  • Employer-Provided Housing: Clarifies application of the emergency regulations to employers who provide employer-provided housing.

In addition to updating its FAQ, CalOSHA has provided a fact sheet for What Employers Need to Know about the emergency regulations as well as a fillable model COVID-19 Prevention Program in English and Spanish on its emergency regulation page of its website.

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