It is considered an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against an employee/applicant because of a conflict between the person’s religious belief or observance and any employment requirement unless providing the accommodation would result in an undue hardship.

Employers who receive religious based accommodation requests – including those made in response to vaccination mandates – must engage in a timely good faith interactive process and consider any available reasonable accommodation including:

From January 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021, California requires employers with 26 or more employees to provide their workers up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) for COVID-19 related reasons. Employers must provide this paid time off for employees who need to stay home due to COVID-19 illness or exposure, caring for a family member, a COVID-19 test or vaccine, recovering from side effects, and more.

Emergency exits that are blocked (e.g., by boxes, stored items) or locked is a serious safety violation and can result in very costly fines and penalties. Case in point: Dollar Tree got slapped with a $129,000 fine by OSHA for having locked its emergency doors at a Texas store during working hours. Dollar Tree has also been hit with six figure citations for blocking emergency exits with boxes and other supplies.

Cal/OSHA is now urging all workers to wear face coverings indoors regardless of their vaccination status. The guidance comes in response to an uptick in state COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Cal/OSHA is aligning its guidance with California's Department of Public Health, which updated its masking guidance last month in light of rising cases and plateauing vaccination rates.

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Health and Safety Rules

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