As you may be aware, Governor Newsom released a 32-page COVID-19 Employer Playbook (the “Playbook”) providing additional guidance for California employers related to COVID-19 and safe re-opening. Here is what you need to know:
All California employers must create (and implement as necessary) a COVID-19 prevention plan that:
Remember to look at federal, state, and local guidance when creating a worksite-specific plan, as many local jurisdictions (e.g., cities and counties) have additional industry-specific guidance and requirements.
The Playbook provides guidance to California employers on what to do when there is a COVID-19 case in the workplace or an outbreak. The topics discussed are as follows:
The Playbook provides checklists under each topic above. But note, what is required of California employers versus what is recommended is less clear.
The Playbook includes a section reminding California employers that a work-related COVID-19 fatality or illness must be recorded like any other recordable occupational fatality, injury, or illness. In addition to this, there is guidance on when a California employer must report a COVID-19 case to Cal/OSHA (i.e., any serious illness, serious injury or death of a worker that occurred at work or in connection with work within eight hours of when they knew or should have known of the illness).
When a worker needs time off for a COVID-19-relatd reason, there are various potential benefits and protections California employers should keep in mind. The Playbook discusses the following benefits:
California employers should also keep in mind how many of these entitlements and protections intersect and additional obligations they have under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
The California Governor’s Office for Emergency Services has established the COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force (“Task Force”) to monitor and enforce violations of state statutes and orders. The State agencies included in the Task Force are the Department of Alcoholic and Beverage Control, Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Industrial Relations, and others. California employers are encouraged to reach out to the offices listed in Appendix B of the Playbook to seek assistance or answers to questions pertaining to the COVID-19 statutes and orders.
The Playbook emphasizes the importance of training and educating workers on COVID-19 and the steps they can take to protect themselves and others both at work and outside of work.
The Playbook provides the following tips when dealing with individuals who are not wearing face coverings:
Be sure to stay up to date on evolving federal, state, and local guidance. If you have any questions or would like additional information on the issues discussed above, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will continue to monitor this development and provide updates as quickly as possible.
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