Changes to CA Employment Law Effective Now
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has left most employers reeling and unsure of what the official guidelines and laws are. In addition, as information regarding the coronavirus and the delta variant is uncovered, yet more people are getting vaccinated, the rules for employers keep changing.
Earlier this summer, Cal-OSHA set out a new set of approved guidelines for workplaces. These guidelines include:
- Employers no longer need to ensure that employees are socially distanced at work, as long as there is not an outbreak situation. This is the guideline whether employees are vaccinated or not.
- Employers no longer need to require that fully vaccinated employees wear masks at work. If employees are not fully vaccinated, the employer must provide them with a surgical or medical procedure mask, a respirator, or a mask with at least two layers of non-woven or tightly woven fabric to wear. If requested, employers must give N95 masks to not fully vaccinated employees. Employers still need to make sure that not fully vaccinated employees wear masks inside a workplace or in work vehicles, as well as to provide notice to non-employee customers or visitors of mask policies.
- If an outbreak occurs at work, employers must take additional measures regarding both vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees. Employers must notify all exposed employees, provide respirators for voluntary use if requested, and require mask-wearing and social distancing for all employees who were exposed.
Employers should stay aware of the current COVID-19 workplace guidelines and enact changes as soon as possible to comply with amended guidelines. Employers should update their own workplace COVID policies to ensure all employees are fully aware of the current policies.
While it seems that official COVID-19 guidelines are loosening in light of the vaccine becoming available, there is always the chance that the rules will become stricter again. This is especially true with the highly contagious delta variant and the number of people who refuse to get the vaccine. If employers have questions about their policies and whether they are adequate to comply with state and federal mandates, they should not hesitate to consult with experienced counsel who handles employment law matters.
Dealing With Employee Complaints
Sometimes, employees might disagree with an employer policy intended to comply with health guidance. If an employee complains that a policy is too strict (or not strict enough), it is essential that you address the matter properly. Further, if an employee refuses to comply with your policies - or Cal-OSHA guidelines - you will need to know how to properly react, whether it involves accommodations, discipline, or termination.
Learn More from an Encino Employment Lawyer
In the 2021 climate, pandemic-related mandates and policies can be a touchy matter for some people. If you run into trouble with an employee or have questions about how to respond to employee complaints, you should speak with an Encino employment attorney at Kaufman McAndrew LLP. Call 818-788-5767 or contact us online for help today.