On November 30, 2020, the California Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) Office of Administrative Law approved a new Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) regarding COVID-19. The ETS became effective immediately and applies, with limited exception, to all California employers. Those exempt from ETS compliance are: 1) single-employee employers who do not have contact with others; (2) employees who are working from home; and (3) employees who are already covered under Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standards.
The new ETS requires all covered employers to create and implement – if they have not done so already – a written COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP), including an ETS complaint means of notifying employees of possible COVID-19 worksite exposure. To assist our members in complying with the new ETS, Western Growers has updated its COVID-19 Resources page to include the following ETS resources:
- California DIR: Model COVID-19 Prevention Program
- California DIR: COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards FAQs
- Western Growers Guidance: Model Cal/OSHA ETS COVID-19 Notification
NOTE: Western Growers, the California Business Roundtable, the California Association of Winegrape Growers, the California Farm Bureau Federation, Ventura County Agricultural Association, and the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California have joined together to file a lawsuit against Cal/OSHA challenging the scope and emergency adoption of the ETS along with allegations that the ETS violate California law and are unconstitutional. Western Growers Association, et al. v. California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will certainly be a case to watch into the new year. However, pending further developments, employers should continue to comply with all OSHA and Cal/OSHA COVID-19 obligations.
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