On February 28, 2022, Governor Newsom signed an executive order which brings the Cal/OSHA ETS Regulations in-line with present CDPH masking requirements. The CDPH updated its guidance on February 28, 2021, making it a “strong recommendation” that unvaccinated individuals wear masks in indoor public settings. As many know, the Cal/OSHA ETS Regulations required that employers ensure that employees who are “not fully vaccinated” wear masks indoors and when in vehicles. This executive order suspends the general face covering requirements relating to employees who are “not fully vaccinated” immediately.
Nonetheless, employers should be aware of the “catch-all” requirement that employers provide masks and ensure they are worn when required by orders of the CDPH. (See 3205(c)(6)(B).) For example, this means people ending quarantine or isolation early will still have to comply with the CDPH quarantine and isolation requirements relating to masks. The ETS Regulations may also require employees in the exposed workplace during an outbreak to wear face coverings. (See 3205.1(d)(1).)
The executive order also extends the readopted ETS Regulations an additional 21 days (until May 6, 2022). Employers should be anticipating a potential “permanent” COVID-19 prevention standard to be forthcoming from Cal/OSHA. While the executive order is good news, employers should remain wary of the law changing with shifts in the number of cases or the emergence of new variants.
Should you have questions about your business’ compliance with COVID-19 regulations, please contact the attorneys at Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland, P.C.