Following a meeting of the Cal/OSHA standards board on June 17, 2021, the Board voted to approve the new revisions of the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”).
Those updated changes are summarized in our prior e-blast here, and in large part work to align more with the State’s removal of the mask mandate for vaccinated people. The text of the new ETS is available here. Also on June 17th, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order (N-09-21) that removed the 10-calendar day review period at the Office of Administrative Law and made the revised ETS effective immediately. The Executive Order notes that the continuation of the prior ETS would have “imposed unnecessary burdens on employers, and cause confusion among employers and employees alike, impeding the State’s recovery.”
Cal/OSHA also published revised FAQs explaining the revisions to the ETS, available here.
Effective June 17, 2021:
- Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or excluded from work after close contact unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear face coverings except for certain situations during outbreaks and in settings where CDPH requires all persons to wear them. Employers must document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated employees if they do not wear face coverings indoors.
- Employees are not required to wear face coverings when outdoors regardless of vaccination status except for certain employees during outbreaks.
- Employees are explicitly allowed to wear a face covering without fear of retaliation from employers.
- Physical distancing requirements have been eliminated except where an employer determines there is a hazard and for certain employees during major outbreaks.
- Employees who are not fully vaccinated may request respirators for voluntary use from their employers at no cost and without fear of retaliation from their employers.
- Employees who are not fully vaccinated and exhibit COVID-19 symptoms must be offered testing by their employer.
- Employer-provided housing and transportation are exempt from the regulations where all employees are fully vaccinated.
- Employers must review the Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments.
- Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtration efficiency, and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems.
The Cal/OSHA guidance advises that vaccination status must be “documented.” Per the revised FAQ, “acceptable” options for vaccine documentation include:
- Employees provide proof of vaccination (vaccine card, image of vaccine card or health care document showing vaccination status) and employer maintains a copy.
- Employees provide proof of vaccination. The employer maintains a record of the employees who presented proof, but not the vaccine record itself.
- Employees self-attest to vaccination status and employer maintains a record of who self-attests.
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
Eyes now turn to implementation of documenting employees’ vaccination status. If you have questions about the self-attestation procedure or implementation of a policy or how vaccine records should be reviewed and maintained, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.