Cal/OSHA Adopts New Non-Emergency COVID-19 Standard

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On December 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) Standards Board adopted the COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulation (“Regulation”), which modifies Title 8 of the General Industry Safety Orders. Once Cal/OSHA’s current emergency temporary standards (“ETS”) expire on December 31, 2022, the new Regulation will take effect from January 1, 2023, through until December 31, 2024.

How Does the New Regulation Differ from the ETS?

While the new Regulation largely extends many of the requirements that are currently in place under the ETS (including testing and notice requirements, and recordkeeping requirements), there are some changes from the ETS:

  • Reduced reporting requirements: Under the Regulation, employers will no longer be required to report outbreaks to the local health department. Furthermore, a COVID-19 outbreak can be deemed when “one or fewer” new cases are detected in the exposed group for a 14-day period. An investigation, review, and correction of hazards following an outbreak will no longer need to be “immediate” following an outbreak.
  • Elimination of exclusion pay requirements: Previously, under the ETS, employers were required to “continue and maintain an employee’s earnings, wages, seniority, and all other employee rights and benefits, including the employee’s right to their former job status, as if the employee had not been removed from their job.” The Regulation eliminates this requirement, thereby not requiring employers to provide exclusion pay.
  • Modified masking requirements: Certain mask requirements have been removed. For example, the definition of an “exposed group” still contains a “momentary pass-through” exception, which applies to a place where individuals momentarily pass through without congregating. Previously, this exception required that all individuals be masked to take advantage of this exception. Now, under the new Regulation, the exception has been broadened to include individuals who are not masked.

For more information on the new COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulation, please contact us at

This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.