The U.S. Equal Employment Commission (“EEOC”) has recently updated its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers, “What You Should Know About COVID-10 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” (“Q&A)  and taken the position that employers may only screen employees for COVID-19 if it is a business necessity that is justified by “current pandemic circumstances and individual workplace circumstances” because a COVID-19 viral test is a medical examination within the meaning of the ADA.
Continue Reading EEOC States Employers Must Show Business Necessity to Test Workers for COVID-19

On June 8, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued an Order with definitions for “close contact” and “infectious period” that conflict and abrogate the definitions for these terms within the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) current COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).  Employers must comply with the new CDPH definitions, even where they differ from the text of the California ETS or federal Centers for Disease Control guidance.
Continue Reading New “Close Contact” and “Infectious Period” Definitions Modify Compliance with Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 ETS

On May 7, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Cal/OSHA”) released guidance, in the form of updated FAQs and fact sheets, concerning the revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) that were adopted on April 21, 2022, and became effective on May 6, 2022.  This ETS applies to non-remote workers in California, except those who work alone and those covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2022. 
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Releases Guidance on New COVID-19 ETS Impacting Employers and Workers

SB 606, which took effect January 1, 2022, greatly increases the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (“Cal/OSHA’s”) enforcement powers by creating two new violation categories – “enterprise wide” and “egregious” violations.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Enters the New Year With Expanded Enforcement Authority

The Supreme Court has granted a temporary stay of the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), otherwise known as the OSHA vaccine mandate. The Court ruled that OSHA had exceeded the authority delegated to it by Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In making this finding, the Court held that OSHA only has the authority to issue workplace safety standards, not broad health measures. The concurring opinion focused upon the “major questions doctrine,” which requires Congress to speak clearly when delegating authority of “vast economic and political significance” to an administrative agency.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Weighs In On Vaccination Mandate

On December 16, 2021, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Cal/OSHA”) adopted revisions to the current COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”).  The Cal/OSHA ETS were first approved on November 30, 2020, adopted again with modifications on June 17, 2021, and recently readopted with additional revisions.  The newest version of the ETS will go into effect on January 14, 2022, and will apply to all non-remote workers in California except those covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard, such as healthcare workers.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Adopts Newly Revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards Impacting Employers and Workers