January has been full of stress and confusion surrounding high COVID 19 cases and Federal and Cal-OSHA mandates. Through many changes, reiterations, and FAQs, we seem to be at a point in which Cal-OSHA’s mandates and guidelines will remain unchanged until April 14, 2022.
Today Cal-OSHA removed the discussion of a potential Vaccine/Testing mandate for California from their meeting. Despite the Supreme Court blocking the Federal Vaccine, Testing, Mask Mandate, California is free to move forward with their own guidelines if they wish. However, based on today’s meeting, it appears that California will not implement a new vaccine or test mandate. Therefore, as of today, the Cal-OSHA ETS that was put into place on January 14th is a California employers’ primary guidance for complying with COVID 19 safety requirements.
These are the highlights of the main topics of the current ETS:
- California employers must have a written COVID-19 Prevention Program (“CPP”, can be part of IIPP)
- Employers are required to track employee vaccination status. It is recommended that employers obtain proof of vaccination. If an employee declines to provide proof, they are considered unvaccinated.
- Masks must be worn by all employees regardless of vaccination status. Masks must be made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to light source). Surgical masks, KN95, and N95 masks are recommended (not required). Employers must make masks available if the employee does not have one.
- Quarantine guidelines have been updated and are more challenging to navigate than in the past. Quarantine guidelines are different based on vaccination status and shortened in many cases if a negative test result is produced. See the full chart of all quarantine guideline details here.
- Employers must provide testing to all employees who have been exposed at work at no cost to the employee during paid time. Employers must also provide weekly testing if there is a workplace outbreak.
- Home testing is permitted if the employer or a telehealth professional observes the employee administering the test and the test results in real time.
- Exclusion pay – Employers must maintain pay and benefits for employees who are excluded from the workplace due to workplace exposure to COVID and are unable to work remotely.
- For more details on the Cal OSHA ETS:
- Resource page https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/ETS.html
- Updated ETS FAQs https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/Revisions-FAQ.pdf
Star Staffing has the resources in place to stay on top of these ever-changing mandates and help our clients navigate them to ensure compliance. If you have any questions about these regulations and how to stay compliant, please contact your Account Manager or call 855-STAR-JOB.