COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Workplace Regulation Adopted

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The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) voted to adopt a temporary emergency regulation under the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) related to COVID-19 prevention in the workplace. The new emergency standards impose some significant requirements on California employers, including credit unions.

The key takeaways that can impact credit unions are:

  • A Written COVID-19 Prevention Program. Employers are required to establish, implement and maintain an effective, written “COVID-19 Prevention Program.” The COVID-19 Prevention Program may be integrated into the employer’s Injury and Illness Program required under Section 3203 or kept as a separate document. The COVID-19 Prevention Program must cover 11 topics, some in considerable detail.

  • Multiple COVID-19 Infections and Outbreaks.The regulation contains stricter requirements for multiple COVID-19 infections and outbreaks in the workplace. Employers are required to report to the local health department when there are three or more COVID-19 cases in an exposed workplace within a 14-day period and when there are 20 or more COVID-19 cases in an exposed workplace within a 30-day period.

As for next steps, the emergency regulation will be sent to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), where the OAL has 10 calendar days to review it for procedural compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Therefore, under this timetable, if approved as is, the new regulation could go into effect by Nov. 29.

Credit unions should review and consider the effectiveness of their COVID-19 prevention plans and, where necessary, consult their employment law attorneys.

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