In anticipation of another heavy wildfire season employers are reminded that wildfire smoke and subsequent cleanup efforts present unique workplace hazards.

In California, Cal/OSHA mandates protective equipment (e.g., N95 masks) as a wildfire season necessity in areas where the current Air Quality Index (current AQI) for airborne particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or smaller (PM2.5) is 151 or greater[1], and where employers should reasonably anticipate that employees could be exposed to wildfire smoke.

On May 29, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a significant ruling in Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Walmart was sued in 2016 under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) by former employee Roderick Magadia alleging violations of California Labor Code wage statement and meal period laws.

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