California’s ETS is back for the 3rd Time

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As we previously wrote and expected, on April 21, 2022, the Cal/OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved the third readoption of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). It becomes effective May 6, 2022. Although it feels like we are nearing the end of COVID-19 impositions on our day-to-day life, this ETS is likely to be in effect through the rest of the year.

What remains the same? The readoption keeps the same exclusion pay requirement, which means employers will still have to pay employees that have been excluded from work due to COVID-19 related reasons unless an exception applies.

Here are a few important changes we did not previously address:

  1. Some definitions have been revised or removed. The definitions surrounding “COVID-19 Test,” “Face Coverings,” “Fully Vaccinated” and “Returned Case” are different under this ETS. Notably, the definition of “Fully Vaccinated” has been completely removed.
  2. “Respirators” must be offered to all workers: Please note that, “respirator” means a respiratory protection device approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to protect the wearer, such as an N95 mask.
  3. Unvaccinated workers are no longer required to mask indoors: An Executive Order issued by Governor Newsom previously removed the ETS language that required employers to provide and ensure face coverings were worn by unvaccinated employees. The language under the new ETS aligns with these changes. However, other face-covering requirements under the ETS remain intact.
  4. Cleaning and disinfection rules have been removed. Employers no longer need to implement specific cleaning and disinfection procedures.

 These are only some of the changes coming to California. Now that Cal/OSHA has adopted the new rules, employers are advised to review the same and update their COVID-19 policies accordingly.

If you need assistance to further understand how this impacts your business, 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.