California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Amends COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards

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Attorneys & Professionals

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, recently changed the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).  These changes will go into effect on Tuesday, June 15, and will continue to apply to nearly all California employers.  The proposed changes revise several prior proposals, but still distinguish between (and expand upon) vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.  The notable revisions are as follows:

“Fully vaccinated” means the employer has documented that the person received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series [typically Moderna or Pfizer] or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine [typically Johnson & Johnson].  Vaccines must be FDA approved; have an emergency use authorization from the FDA; or, for persons fully vaccinated outside the United States, be listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The inclusion of international vaccines is worth noting, as it is likely to assist employees of international companies to return to the workplace.  The revisions do not, however, specify whether an employer must obtain a copy of vaccination card, review the employee’s vaccination card, or rely on self-certification forms.  Cal/OSHA is likely to issue answers to such questions in the coming weeks.

As noted, the revisions are ambiguous in some places.  In navigating these revisions, and a workplace that embraces some pre- and post-pandemic normalcy, California employers should consult with their Vorys attorney for guidance.



We have also established a comprehensive Coronavirus Task Force, which includes attorneys with deep experience in the niche disciplines that we have been and expect to continue receiving questions regarding coronavirus. Learn more and see the latest updates from the task force at vorys.com/coronavirus