August 2022: COVID-19 Emergency Regulation to Expire (and Potentially Be Extended) Later This Year

16 Aug

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Update Applicable to:
All California employers.

What happened?
The Cal/OSHA Standards Board has released the draft text to extend the state’s COVID-19 regulation for another two years – with some significant changes from the present COVID-19 regulation – as part of their September 15, 2022, meeting. Most notably, the draft text adds flexibility to the regulation and ends the requirement of exclusion pay.

What are the details?
A few key points on the proposed text:

  • The proposal requires that employers provide testing and notice after exposure (as they are doing presently).

    • The proposal contains a 2-year sunset, so the regulation would not be truly permanent (this is consistent with the overall recognition that COVID-19 is now an endemic disease, so emergency-level notice provisions may not be appropriate permanently).

    • The proposal allows somewhat more flexibility than the present regulation (likely in recognition of the need to allow flexibility when science may change over the next two years).

    • The proposal ends the repeatedly extended requirement of exclusion pay, which had burdened employers with paying for non-workplace cases and confused and frustrated employment law attorneys because of its vagueness.

Comments are due by September 15, 2022, Standards Board Meeting.

For more information, please see the links below:

Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulation

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above and keep looking for any updates.

Vensure will continue to be on the lookout for updates and will communicate once more news has been received.

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