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November 2022: California Extends COVID-19 Exposure Notification Until 2024

17 Nov

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Update Applicable to: 
All employers in the state of California.

What happened?
On September 29, 2022, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2693 (AB 2693) into law, which extends the general exposure notification requirement of COVID-19 until January 1, 2024

What are the details? 
Effective January 1, 2023, AB 2693 significantly reduces the burden on employers by allowing an option for the notice of potential COVID-19 exposure to be posted at the worksite or on an employee portal if other workplace notices are posted on the portal. Like the notice required under the current legislation, it must be posted within one business day from when the employer learns of the COVID-19 case and remain posted for at least 15 calendar days.

Employers still have the option to provide written notice to covered workers and the employers of subcontracted workers if they prefer. However, employers must still provide a written notice to the exclusive representative of the COVID-19 case(s) and any employees who had close contact.

Records of the written notices provided and a log of the dates of the notices posted must be maintained for three years.

Content of the Notice
The information required in the notice is also changing. Now, employers do not need to notify employees or other on-site workers that “they may have been exposed.”

Rather, the new version of the notice has been streamlined and now requires the following to be included:

  1. The dates on which an employee, or employee of a subcontracted employer, with a confirmed case of COVID-19 was on the worksite premises within the infectious period.
  1. The location of the exposures, including the department, floor, building, or other areas, but the location does not need to be so specific that it would allow individual workers to be identified.
  1. Instead of providing detailed information on the specifics, employers now only need to provide contact information for where employees may receive information regarding COVID-19-related benefits they may be entitled under applicable federal, state, or local laws, as well as antiretaliation and antidiscrimination protections of the employee.
  1. These benefits may include workers’ compensation, COVID-19-related local or emergency leave, company sick leave, state-mandated leave, recently extended COVID supplemental sick leave, or negotiated leave provisions.
  1. As a best practice, companies should ensure that their HR, Safety, or designated management personnel are prepared to provide this information upon request and are familiar with the local options for paid and unpaid leave.
  1. Likewise, employers now only need to provide contact information for where employees may receive the cleaning and disinfection plan that the employer is implementing per the guidelines of the CDC and the Cal/OSHA standards.
  1. Note: Workplace cleaning and disinfection plans are not currently part of CDC guidelines or Cal/OSHA requirements, so many employers will likely refer to their normal cleaning and/or disinfection protocols that may be independent of COVID-19 mitigation measures.

AB 2693 also requires the notice to be in English, and the language understood by the majority of the employees.

For more information, please see the links below:

Assembly Bill 2693 (AB 2693)

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above, adjust the COVID-19 exposure notification policies, and prepare a notice for employees to see by the effective date of January 1, 2023.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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