The good news: Employers now have the option to post a notice of potential COVID-19 exposure at the worksite (and on existing employee portals) instead of providing written notice. (AB 2693)
The not-so-good news: The rebuttable presumption that an employee’s illness resulting from COVID-19 was sustained in the course of employment for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits was extended to January 1, 2024. (AB 1751)
The new Cal/OSHA Non-Emergency COVID-19 Regulation (which will not be effective until approved by the Office of Administrative Law, anticipated in January 2023) provides some good news for employers. “Exclusion pay” is being removed, but employers must still provide notice to employees excluded from the workplace of benefits they may be entitled to use, such as sick leave or workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, outbreak protocols may now end if an employer has one or fewer cases in a two-week period, instead of zero.
The regulation retains the “close contact” definition adopted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) last summer: For “indoor spaces larger than 400,000 cubic feet per floor, a close contact is … being within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.” Alternatively, for “indoor airspaces of 400,000 cubic feet or fewer per floor, a close contact is … sharing the same indoor airspace as a COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.”
Finally, the regulation allows the COVID-19 Prevention Policy to be included in your Illness and Injury Prevention Plan (IIPP) or maintained as a separate document.
As always, we recommend that you read the entire text of the new regulation to ensure that you are in compliance.