As of November 30, the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is effective.
The regulation creates several new requirements for employers including employee testing, excluding any employees who test positive or are exposed to COVID, and maintaining employee wages and benefits while excluded from work due to COVID.
The regulation also creates requirements on employee-provided housing and transportation.
Although the ETS is being challenged in court, employers should make every effort to comply with the regulation in its current form. To assist employers in complying with the ETS, CCM facilitated a webinar with The Saqui Law Group in which the firm’s Ag Labor Team reviewed each provision of the regulation. A recording of the webinar and additional information can be found here.
The Cal/OSHA Standards Board adopted the ETS yet acknowledged that the regulation needs revision and directed CalOSHA present its recommended changes in early 2021.
CCM participated in a recent CalOSHA listening session and submitted written comments in which we outlined our concerns and offered recommendations.
The letter emphasizes that the additional testing requirements in the ETS are too broad, infeasible, and will only strain testing capacity in rural areas. Instead, the letter proposes that testing requirements apply only to COVID-19 exposures, rather than all employees in the exposed workplace during in outbreak scenario (defined as 3 or more COVID cases in a 14-day period). The letter also asks that Cal/OSHA consider a less frequent testing requirement than currently required in the ETS for major COVID-19 outbreaks (defined as 20 COVID cases in a 14-day period).
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