On November 12, 2020, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health released a draft of its COVID-19 emergency regulation. The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will vote on it on November 19, 2020. The proposed regulation includes a written COVID-19 Prevention Program, requires notification of potential COVID-19 exposure within one business day to those at a worksite, and contains specific requirements for COVID-19 testing, recordkeeping, and leave from work. The proposal also addresses return-to-work criteria and would require employers maintain an employee’s earnings, seniority, and all other employee rights and benefits, including the employee’s right to their former job status if an employee is excluded from work because of COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19 if the employee is otherwise able and available to work.
California companies should monitor whether these proposed regulations are adopted and, if so, prepare to comply with the new requirements.