• COVID-19 and the Workplace Today (7/21/22)
• Third Time’s a Charm? COVID-19 Updated Emergency Temporary Standards (5/12/22)
• It’s Back! COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave in CA (2/14/22)
• COVID in 2022…Return to Work Guidelines, Testing, and The New Road to Compliance (1/27/22)
• CAL/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) Readopted (1/6/22)
Our COVID-19 Updates Series is a running list of updates intended to provide you with the essential information you need to know regarding COVID-19. Updated on an as-needed basis by our COVID-19 expert, we ensure you are aware of the latest changes. View our most recent updates for 2022 below:
The 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) law was set to end today, September 30th. However, last night Governor Newsom signed AB 152. This will extend the time employees can use SPSL until December 31, 2022. It does not create a new bank of leave. Employees have access to any unused SPSL they have remaining in their banks. The qualifying reasons for leave remain the same.
AB 152 adds a new requirement that employers can ask employees who have received their first positive test, to submit a second test within 24 hours. If the employee does not submit either of the required tests, the employer can deny the request for SPSL.
The law also establishes the California Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Grant Program to assist qualified businesses or nonprofits who paid out SPSL to their employees from January 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022. More information on this provision of the law will be added to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) soon. Employers with 26 to 49 employees, who have a physical presence in the state of California and began operation before June 1, 2021, may be qualified to receive these grants up to a maximum of $50,000.
The heat has risen in San Diego County this summer along with the county’s COVID community level, moving this mid-July from Medium to High. CDC published guidances recommend for Community Level High:
– Wear a mask indoors in public
– Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
– Get tested if you have symptoms
– Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness
While the above is strongly recommended, not mandated, several schools and military installations within San Diego County have already moved to a mask mandate; and if you plan to wear your superhero cape and eye mask, please be aware Comic-Con 2022 is requiring face mask wear for attendance as well!
On February 28th, Governor Newsom signed an order updating the Cal/OSHA ETS eliminating the requirement that employers require face coverings be worn indoors or in vehicles for unvaccinated employees. This major change aligns with the California Department of Public Health’s release of new indoor masking guidance which took effect on March 1, 2022. It is important to understand that employers, upon request, must continue to provide face coverings to their employees at no cost to the employee. In addition, employees may choose to wear a face-covering at work, regardless of vaccination status, without fear of retaliation. It is important to note that employers, at their discretion, can continue to require face coverings to be worn at the workplace, regardless of the changes in mandates. CAL/OSHA has updated their FAQs to include the new changes but also emphasize many mandates remain, such as face coverings must be worn indoors for employees who test positive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed through Day 10. Allow SDHRC to help you remain in compliance by updating your current legally required COVID Prevention Program by contacting us today!
Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill SB 114 which reinstated the COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (CSPSL) for all CA employers with 26 or more employees. Employers will be required to adhere to the many requirements of the new law beginning February 19th, 2022 including posting the CSPSL notice accessible to all employees in a conspicuous location at their worksite or via email, if employees work remotely. The Department of Industrial Labor has provided the notice in both English and Spanish on their website, along with valuable FAQs regarding the new 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law. Is your business prepared to meet all the criteria? Let SDHRC help you reach compliance by contacting us directly for support and visit our recent blog post for more information regarding CSPSL.
On January 6, 2022, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) updated its FAQs to align with CDPH’s December 30, 2021, isolation and quarantine recommendations. Beginning January 14, 2022, the amount of days an employee is required to isolate/quarantine, regardless of vaccination status, has been reduced from 10 to 5 days, returning on day 6 to the workplace if adherence to specific protocols is followed, such as testing and being symptom-free (see FAQs for more details). These major changes will require revisions to the employer’s current COVID Prevention Plan (CPP) and immediate communication to your workforce regarding your return to work policy.Please reach out to us directly if you need assistance.
In other news, employers with 100+ employees will now need to ensure their workforce is vaccinated against COVID-19 or test weekly effective as of yesterday (Jan. 10, 2022), due to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate. Keep in mind, this could change depending on the Supreme Court’s ruling, but as of now, the Federal ETS requirement stands.
With the ever-changing regulations surrounding COVID-19, we know staying on top of your business can be confusing and stressful. At SDHRC we are here to assist you with guidance surrounding COVID-19, reopening plans, workforce planning, and much more.