Cal/OSHA Approves COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards; Executive Order Makes Them Effective Immediately

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Subject to certain exceptions, the revised ETS eliminates distancing and barrier requirements in the workplace, regardless of vaccination status.

July 11, 2021
Leila S. Narvid - Payne & Fears LLP

On June 17, 2021, California's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board) passed amended COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order to make the amended ETS effective as soon as filed with the Secretary of State. The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) filed them, and the Secretary of State posted them, making the ETS effective immediately. These changes attempt to bring the ETS in alignment with recent changes to California Department of Public Health Order and the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Highlights of the changes to the ETS can be found here.

Face Coverings in the Workplace; Elimination of Physical Distancing

Notably, fully vaccinated employees do not have to wear a face covering indoors except in limited circumstances. Unvaccinated workers will still need to wear face coverings indoors (unless they are alone in a room or eating and drinking) and in shared vehicles. All employees regardless of vaccination status do not have to wear masks outdoors. Unvaccinated employees must be trained that face coverings are recommended outdoors for individuals who are not fully vaccinated when six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.

Ms. Narvid may be contacted at


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