January 28, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 28


January 27, 2023

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January 25, 2023

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Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Survives its First Challenge

As we reported here, Cal/OSHA’s revised COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) took effect on January 14, 2022. The controversial emergency regulations, which have caused employers countless headaches, survived their first major challenge when the Court of Appeal, in Western Growers Association v. Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board affirmed the trial court’s order blocking a preliminary injunction.

A coalition of agricultural business organizations argued that Cal/OSHA undermined existing workplace safety laws and regulations and exceeded its statutory authority when it implemented the ETS. They filed for a preliminary injunction in early 2021.  The trial court denied the petition, finding the Plaintiffs did not show a likelihood of success on the merits.

Last week, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision, agreeing that the regulations are a proper exercise of authority within Cal/OSHA’s “area of expertise,” and that they are a necessary immediate action because existing workplace safety regulations were insufficient to tackle the unprecedented risks of COVID-19 transmission.

Therefore, as burdensome as they may be, the ETS live to see another day.

© 2023 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 19

About this Author

Kate Gold Labor and Employment Lawyer Proskauer

Kate Gold is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department in the Los Angeles office.

Kate has over 25 years of experience representing clients in a range of industries, across all areas of employment law.  An experienced litigator, she has represented clients in all types of employment-related suits, including class and collective actions, discrimination, retaliation and harassment, non-compete and wage/hour matters.  In addition to litigating, she conducts high-level workplace investigations and routinely counsels clients on matters involving the full range of state and...

Phillipe Lebel labor & Employment Attorney Los Angeles Proskauer Law Firm

Philippe (Phil) A. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, trade secrets, and breach of contract litigation, in both the single-plaintiff and class-action context, at both the trial and appellate level, and before administrative agencies. Phil also represents employers in connection with labor law matters, such as labor arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. Additionally, Phil counsels clients to ensure compliance with federal...

Law Clerk

Morgan Peterson is a law clerk in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.