California Releases A New Safety Handbook for Employers
On July 24, 2020, the State of California released a “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” to guide employers in planning and preparing for the safe reopening of their businesses. It combines guidance from various California agencies to ensure that employers have the tools they need to plan for a safe and clean workplace. Notably, the Playbook is not meant to be exhaustive, as it does not include county-specific health orders, nor is it a substitute for existing safety and health-related regulatory requirements such as those from Cal/OSHA.
The Playbook provides guidance for managing and preventing outbreaks in the workplace, regulations for reporting identified cases, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, return to work guidelines following a confirmed case, and California paid sick leave requirements. It also offers a comprehensive list of resources for employers, including industry-specific checklists from state regulatory agencies that monitor and enforce COVID-19 statutes and orders. These agencies include the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the Department of Industrial Relations (which incorporates the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement).
Lastly, the Playbook educates employees on ways they can protect themselves and others, both in the workplace and at home. This includes enforcing face-covering requirements and suggested language and de-escalation measures for communicating with workers, customers, and visitors in the workplace about face coverings.