Cal/OSHA’s Lesser-Known COVID-19 Publications

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As readers of this blog may already know, Cal/OSHA has recently issued “new” COVID-19 regulations that govern California employers. Equally so, Cal/OSHA has published lesser-known documents that deserve an employer’s review and consideration.

A FAQ Summarizing Cal/OHSA’s Recent Updates.

Cal/OSHA has issued a short, six-page FAQ that summarizes its recent updates to its COVID-19 rules. The FAQ is here. We recommend that all readers review this FAQ as it provides a high-level summary of Cal/OSHA’s changes.

Updated COVID-19 Prevention Plan.

Cal/OSHA has also published an updated COVID-19 Prevention Plan (“CPP”), which is available here. For readers who are unfamiliar with a CPP, a  CPP is a written policy that outlines, among other things, the steps an employer takes to:

  1. Investigate and respond to COVID-19 cases;
  2. Conduct employee screening for COVID-19;
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces;
  4. Identify, evaluate, and correct COVID-19 hazards; and
  5. Ensure that employees wear face coverings or masks indoors when required by the law.

Employers should review Cal/OSHA’s latest CPP template and update their existing plans as necessary. If employers have never drafted a CPP before, they should do so immediately and use the linked template as a starting point.

Chart Summarizing Cal/OSHA’s Updated Return-to-Work Criteria.

As we’ve reported, Cal/OSHA has recently amended its return-to-work criteria for employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have had a close contact with a COVID-19 case. Cal/OSHA has published a chart that summarizes these (complex) rules here.

A few quick pointers to help you better understand this chart:

  • As we’ve said before, Cal/OSHA’s new return-to-work criteria tend to be more employer-friendly than Cal/OSHA’s prior return-to-work criteria. (The new criteria allow employees to potentially return to work sooner than before.).
  • You’ll see that Cal/OSHA distinguishes between “isolation” and “quarantine.” The difference between these terms is this: “isolation” means an individual affirmatively tests positive for COVID-19; “quarantine” does not. Instead, “quarantine” means that one individual has merely had a close contact with a positive COVID-19 case.
  • You’ll see that the chart uses the phrases “booster-eligible” and “boosted.” The difference between the two is critical. “Booster eligible” means that an individual is medically allowed to receive a COVID-19 booster shot, which is based on the amount of time that has passed since the individual’s last COVID-19 shot. (The time frames are listed here.) “Boosted,” by contrast, means that an employee has, in fact, received a COVID-19 booster shot.
  • Given the modified return-to-work criteria, it behooves employers to track and monitor their employees’ booster status. Otherwise, an employer will not be able to take advantage of Cal/OSHA’s new return-to-work criteria.

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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.