06.29.2020 | COVID-19

Preparing for and Responding to COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace – New Guidance from the California Department of Public Health

COVID-19 Client Alerts:

Preparing for and Responding to COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace – New Guidance from the California Department of Public Health

As employers begin to bring people back to work at their job sites, they need to plan how to manage COVID-19 exposure or illness in the workplace. The California Department of Public Health has recently published new guidance on this topic.

Three important steps for employers to take prior to a problem arising are:

  1. Appoint a COVID-19 coordinator. You could appoint the same person designated as the Safety Officer in your IIPP (which you should have been updated by now with Cal/OSHA’s requirements for COVID-19 infection prevention.)
  2. Develop a tracking mechanism for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases among your employees. If you have a mechanism in place, when the need arises, you will be able to act quickly to trace the people with whom the sick or possibly sick employee had contact. This will help in minimizing the spread.
  3. Make a list of the contact information for the local health department of each county where you have an employee residing. If you have an outbreak, you will need to notify not only the health department in the county where the job site is located, but also the county where any exposed employee lives.

The DPH Guidance provides information on reporting to public health authorities and Cal/OSHA. The Guidance also includes a helpful chart for managing return to work of sick or exposed employees, depending on the particular combination of circumstances for each employee – for example, how to handle a symptomatic employee who tests positive or a non-symptomatic employee who tests positive.

Copyright © 2020, Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP. All rights reserved. Please be assured that we make every effort to make certain that the information contained in this alert is current at the time this email was delivered. Because laws and legislation are constantly changing, please contact us if you are unsure whether this material is still current. Nothing contained herein should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended to be for general information purposes only. We assume no liability in connection with the use of the information contained in this article. Given the rapidly evolving nature of legal and governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, unfolding events likely will supersede many of the issues discussed in these updates. We encourage you to contact our lawyers directly for the most current information and counsel regarding legal and governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact us to answer any questions you may have.

Murphy Austin’s Labor and Employment Law Team
Please contact one of our team members if we can be of assistance.

Aaron B. Silva, Labor and Employment Law Partner
916.446.2300, Ext. 3027

Shawn M. Joost, Labor and Employment Law Associate
916.446.2300, Ext. 3010

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