A new revision to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), effective May 6, 2022, is the final change to the ETS and will remain in place until the end of the year. Among several adjustments to the ETS, the revision removed requirements specific to an employee’s vaccination status, instead it references California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance for COVID-19 cases, close contacts, and face coverings. The regulations are designed to help you protect your employees from exposure to COVID-19. They apply to every California business, except for:

  • Places of employment with one employee who does not have contact with other persons
  • Employees working from home
  • Employers covered by Title 8, Section 5199 of the California Code of Regulations (primarily health care providers, correctional facilities, drug treatment programs and homeless shelters)
  • Employees teleworking from a location of the employee’s choice that is not under control of the employer

Requirements for California employers

  • Create a written COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP) and implement its protective measures, including improving ventilation, training employees on COVID-19 precautions, and providing face coverings.
  • Provide COVID-19 testing at no cost and during paid time to employees after a workplace COVID-19 exposure and to any employee with symptoms.
  • Maintain wages and benefits for employees who cannot work due to a COVID-19 exposure or illness from the workplace.
  • Follow special requirements if providing housing or transportation to employees.

The COVID-19 Prevention Program

Employers must develop a written COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP) explaining their plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. It must include:

  • A workplace assessment to identify exposure hazards
  • Controls to reduce exposure risk
  • Information and training for employees
  • How to address notification following a COVID-19 case in the workplace
  • Policies based on CDPH guidance for employees who have had close contact
  • Procedures for excluding employees with of COVID-19 from the workplace temporarily
  • Procedures for employees returning to work after isolation or quarantine

Don’t have a written CPP yet? You should create one right away. Use our guide to build your COVID-19 Prevention Program. If you are using an older version of our CPP template, we recommend you update to the latest version that covers all the requirements of Cal/OSHA’s ETS revision.