Throughout the pandemic, workplace regulations have been ever-changing and, at times, quite confusing. If you’ve been unsure about the rules governing what to do now that businesses can fully reopen, official (at least for now) workplace guidance is finally here.
On Thursday, June 17 Cal/OSHA regulators approved revised workplace guidelines that provide more information on exactly how businesses can bring their employees back in-person. These rules apply to nearly every California workplace including offices, factories and retailers but exclude places like schools and hospitals.
To help you further understand the revised order, here are some of the biggest changes, effective June 17:
Verification of vaccinations
- Employers must document and keep record of which workers are vaccinated by either requiring proof of vaccination such as a vaccine card, or by allowing self-attestation. Otherwise, employers must treat all employees as if they are unvaccinated.
- For the most part, employers do not need to require fully vaccinated employees to wear face coverings in the workplace, but employees can still don them if they choose. Additionally, employers can require employees to remain masked, whether they are vaccinated or not.
- Masks are required for unvaccinated employees when working both indoors and in vehicles.
- Employers must provide respirators to unvaccinated employees and make them available to vaccinated persons upon request. Governor Newsom has promised to provide a one-month supply of N-95 respirators to businesses for unvaccinated employees. Find more guidance on employer responsibility regarding respirators, here.
- Social distancing is no longer required in most situations, however, employers may choose to implement their own distancing measures.
- In the instance of a workplace outbreak, some masking, distancing, testing and quarantine measures will need to be reinstated. See the full list of measures, and what the definition of an outbreak is, here.
These rules will help California employers move forward and fully reopen while taking precautions with public safety in mind and in accordance with the California Department of Public Health. The new regulations will last up to 210 days and Cal/OSHA has the option of proposing changes to the order one additional time, if necessary.
As always, if you have any questions about what this means for your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com or (805) 786-2777.