This is an update to our last article on Employers-Re-Opening.  On June 17, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order adopting revised COVID-19 updated guidelines approved by Cal/Osha.  These changes to the Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) are effective immediately.  Cal/Osha proposed these changes in the workplace and will likely continue to add changes and new guidance as circumstances improve.  But are these changes enough and how does this effect California Employers?

Employers have been struggling with understanding and complying with both Cal/Osha and the CDC‘s recommendations on workplace standards.  The revised guidance and standards are designed to help employers return to “normal operations” and help employers better understand how to implement changes.

These new revised changes include:

• Fully vaccinated employees without symptoms do not need to be tested or quarantined after close contacts with Covid-19 cases UNLESS they have symptoms.
• No face covering is required for outdoors (except during outbreaks), regardless of vaccination status, though workers must be trained on CDPH recommendations for outdoor use of face coverings.
• Employers may allow fully vaccinated employees to not to wear face coverings indoors, but must document their vaccination status. In outbreaks, all employees must wear face coverings indoors and outdoors when six feet physical distancing cannot be maintained, regardless of vaccination status.
• Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with approved respirators for voluntary use when working indoors or in a vehicle with others, upon request.
• Employers may not retaliate against employees for wearing face coverings.
• No physical distancing or barrier requirements are required, regardless of employee vaccination status with the following exceptions:
1. Employers must evaluate whether it is necessary to implement physical distancing and barriers during an outbreak (3 or more cases in an exposed group of employees.)
2. Employers must implement physical distancing and barriers during a major outbreak (20 or more cases in an exposed group of employees.)
• No physical distancing requirements whatsoever in the employer-provided housing and transportation.
• Where all employees are vaccinated in employer-provided housing and transportation, employers are exempt from those regulations.
• Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air, increase filtration efficiency and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems.

For a full list of these revised COVID-19 guidelines visit: www.dir.ca.gov . These new standards are in addition to those from the November 2020 requirements that will remain in place. What does this mean for employers and how can you be assured that you are complying? We know that the protocols change, and it can seem overwhelming following Cal/Osha and the CDC’s recommendations. So, Epps & Coulson, LLP is here to answer all your questions and ensure that you stay compliant. Feel free to contact Dawn: dcoulson@eppscoulson.com.
Also, do you know that Epp & Coulson, LLP offers an outside general counsel program? Visit www.companiescounsel.com for more information.


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Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is considered advertising under laws of some states.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call in order to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.