Cal/Osha ETS Finally Provides Some Clarity on Its Rules

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On January 12, 2020, Cal/OSHA released an updated Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) that provides much-needed clarity to Cal/OSHA’s “new” ETS COVID-19 guidelines. The FAQs are linked here.

Some of the FAQs highlights include as follows:

  1. Cal/OSHA makes it clear that California’s Department of Public Health’s (“CDPH”) shortened return-to-work periods govern and amend Cal/OSHA’s published return-to-work criteria. This is potentially welcome news to employers as CDPH’s rules potentially allow employees to return to work more quickly than specified in the Cal/OSHA’s rules.
  2. The FAQs confirm that an employer may require an employee who is excluded from work due to COVID-19 to use their available paid sick leave in some instances.
  3. The FAQs confirm that Cal/OSHA’s rules governing exclusion pay are separate and independent from California’s former supplemental paid sick leave laws for COVID-19, which lapsed last September. The FAQs confirm that exclusion pay under Cal/OHSA’s is not subject to any hourly or monetary cap but must continue for as long as an employee is excluded from work due to a work-related COVID-19 exposure. (Employees who receive disability payments or workers’ compensation during their exclusion period, however, need not receive exclusion pay).

We recommend that you read and familiarize yourself with the FAQs.

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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.