Update COVID-19 Prevention Program Emergency Temporary Standards
What Employers Need to Know
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) revised the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that Governor Newsom signed by executive order on June 17, 2021. The revisions reflected the state’s latest COVID-19 public health guidance. There have been several questions regarding the topic of vaccinations.
Vaccine status was one of the revisions to the COVID-19 Prevention Program. Cal/OSHA states that employee vaccination status must be documented, but does not specify a particular method. The employer must record the vaccination status for any employee not wearing a face covering indoors and this record must be kept confidential. Acceptable options under the law include:
- Employees provide proof of vaccination (vaccine card, image of vaccine card or health care document showing vaccination status) and employer maintains a copy.
- Employees provide proof of vaccination. The employer maintains a record of the employees who presented proof, but not the vaccine record itself.
- Employees self-attest to vaccination status and employer maintains a record of who self-attests.
Please also note that nothing in the revised ETS prevents an employer from requiring all employees to wear a face covering instead of having a documentation process.
Our office is providing a Self-Certification of Vaccination Status for your use. Please remember that if an employee refuses to submit proof of being fully vaccinated, absent such a requirement by law, the employee has the right to decline to state if they are vaccinated or not. However, you must treat that employee as unvaccinated under the ETS provisions, including the employee wearing a face covering.
For employers with a high percentage of non-English speaking employees, it may be best to provide the initial written notice in the employees’ native language, if possible, to address this requirement.
Our office offers a customized COVID-19 Prevention Program for $600.00. This Plan includes a Written COVID-19 Prevention Program, a supplemental summary of your COVID-19 Prevention Program, a supplemental IIPP COVID-19 binder where all COVID-related documents are to be stored, and virtual employee training that is mandatory by the State.
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