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December 2nd, 2020
Cal/OSHA Requires Employers to Have a Written COVID-19 Prevention Plan
As part of its emergency response to protect workers from exposure to hazards related to COVID-19, the Cal/OSHA Safety and Health Standards Board (the “Board”) has unanimously adopted emergency temporary regulations that require almost all California employers[HM1] to have a written COVID-19 Prevention Plan (“CPP”) which can be integrated into the employer’s already mandated Injury Illness and Prevention Plan. In summary, the CPP must include:
- Implementing systems for communicating information to employees about COVID-19 prevention procedures, testing, symptoms and illness, including a system for employees to report exposures without fear of retaliation.
- Screening employees for symptoms and identifying workplace conditions and practices that could result in potential exposure.
- Creating an immediate response plan to determine who may have been exposed to a case in the workplace--including a potential exposure--by providing employees notice within one business day about potential exposures and offering free testing to workers who may have been exposed.
- Identifying and correcting COVID-19 hazards such as unsafe conditions and work practices as well as providing effective training and instruction.
- Implementing procedures to ensure workers stay at least six feet apart from other people if possible.
- Providing face coverings and ensuring they are worn.
- Adopting site-specific strategies such as changes to the workplace and work schedules and providing personal protective equipment to reduce exposure to the virus.
- Strict adherence to all COVID-19 case and illness recording requirements, specifically notifying public health departments of workplace outbreaks (three or more cases in a workplace in a 14-day period) and major outbreaks (20 or more cases within a 30-day period).
- Making the COVID-19 Prevention Plan accessible to employees and employee representatives.
- Immediate removal of COVID-19-exposed workers and COVID-19 positive workers from the workplace with measures to protect pay, benefits, and job positions.
- Creating clear criteria for employees to return to work after recovering from COVID-19.
- Developing specific requirements for infection prevention in employer-provided housing and transportation to and from work.
The Board, which is the standards-setting agency within Cal/OSHA, filed the rulemaking package on November 20, 2020 and they became effective as of November 30, 2020. As discussed in our Frankfurt Kurnit “More Than Just Hand Sanitizer: Employment Law and the Return to Work” series, the County of Los Angeles provides a comprehensive template entitled “Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace” which can be the start of a business’ CPP and can be found at ph.lacounty.gov.
If you have questions about how to draft and implement a COVID-19 Prevention Plan, or about any other employment law matters, please contact Tricia Legittino at (310) 579-9632 or email@example.com, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Employment Compliance, Training & Litigation Group.
The Group would like to thank Julianne Ortega for her research and writing contribution to this alert.
Other Employment Law Alerts
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On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) into law, promising $1.9 trillion in relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic including certain relief for workers. Read more.
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On March 19, 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law. Read more.
March 22 2021
Ten Employment Law Developments Every California Employer Should Know for 2021
As we all happily bid 2020 “good riddance” and enter 2021 with much-needed optimism, there are a host of recent employment laws, some in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, that California employers need to comply with. Read more.
January 5 2021