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News & Analysis
Latest legal news and recent law changes.

California’s 2023 Employment Laws: Safety and Wellness (COVID-19)

We continue our survey of new employment laws with those specific to COVID-19. Cal/OSHA’s power to shut down worksites with an imminent hazard of contracting COVID-19 has been extended through 2023. The required notice for such closures may be posted where other regulatory workplace notices are posted and must be posted in any employee online portal if also used to post regulatory workplace notices.

Cal/OSHA has issued four COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards that will now be transitioned into the new Permanent Standard for COVID-19. Although many prior requirements will still be in place, the Permanent Standard does not require employers to pay employees excluded from work due to COVID-19 exposure or to provide COVID-19 testing for employees for possible exposure from outside the working environment. The Permanent Standard expands the definition of “close contact” to generally be the sharing of indoor airspace for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period, regardless of masking. The Permanent Standard do require that “Respirators” (such as N-95 masks) be provided to all employees who are working indoors or in vehicles with more than one person upon request. The Permanent Standard also requires COVID-19 training for all employees without describing what the contemplated training will consist of.

California extended the worker’s compensation presumption that a COVID-19 case is contracted in the course of the employment to January 1, 2024. This presumption also now includes most firefighters employed by the state of California.

If you have questions or concerns about how these news reports may affect you or your business, please contact The Burton Law Firm at: 916-822-8700 or email for a consultation.