***UPDATE 6.17.2021 ***
As we previously reported (here), on June 3, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“OSHSB”) approved some controversial revisions to its Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) related to COVID-19. Among other highly-contested provisions, the updated ETS would have required even fully-vaccinated individuals to don masks indoors unless everyone in a room was fully-vaccinated. However, before the much-maligned revised ETS could take effect, the OSHSB did an immediate about-face.
On June 9, 2021, the OSHSB convened a special meeting to consider how the new ETS aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health. At the meeting, which lasted several hours, dozens of representatives from the business community and public at large assailed the updated ETS for being out-of-touch with federal and state public health guidance. Ultimately, the OSHSB was persuaded and voted unanimously to withdraw the revised ETS before they even went into effect.
Instead, the OSHSB will consider further revisions to the ETS, which some members of the OSHSB have indicated will more closely align with new guidelines from the California Department of Public Health (effective June 15th), which no longer require fully-vaccinated individuals to wear masks in most settings.
The OSHSB could take up this issue again as early as its next meeting, on June 17, 2021. Stay tuned for more updates.
On Thursday, June 3rd, 2021, the powers that be at Cal/OSHA voted to require masks in the workplace for all employees if EVERYONE is not vaccinated.
When an employer has documented a fully vaccinated staff, only then will employees be given the option to unmask.
The California Chamber of Commerce says the rule is not aligned with new CDC guidance. But supporters say employees need to be protected.
Governor Gavin Newsom can override the rules and made this statement:
“The workplaces they’re protecting like meatpacking facilities larger industrial facilities have a different set of challenges and criteria and so OSHA always mindful of that, I’ll be mindful of that in terms of making any subsequent decisions,” he said. “We’ll see where they land today and will have more to say after I read the final determination.”
We will keep you posted if and when things change.
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