October 24, 2020

Volume X, Number 298

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Governor Signs Legislation Requiring Provision and Maintenance of Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Employees Due to Covid-19

On September 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2537, which significantly expands upon employers’ existing baseline obligations for providing a safe and healthful work environment.  The new bill creates specific requirements regarding general acute care hospitals’ distribution and supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).  Its purpose is to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19.

Before the passage of this legislation, California broadly required that employers provide safe and healthful places of employment and to maintain effective injury prevention programs.  The new statute, applies to both public and private employers, operating general acute care hospitals as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 1250(a).   Under the statute, general acute care hospitals are required to provide PPE to their employees who provide direct patient care or provide services directly supporting personal care.

The bill also requires those employers to maintain specific stockpiles of specified respirators, particulate filters or cartridges, surgical masks, isolation gowns, eye protection, and shoe coverings. Specifically, beginning April 1, 2021, those employers must maintain a 3-month supply of the specified equipment.  Further, the bill requires employers to establish and implement effective written procedures for periodically determining the quantity and types of equipment used in its normal consumption.

In addition, general acute care hospitals must be prepared to report their highest 7-day consecutive daily average consumption of PPE during the 2019 calendar year to the Department of Industrial Relations.  Employers violating the PPE supply requirement may incur a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation.  However, hospitals may not incur the penalty if the failure to meet the requirements is due to issues beyond their control.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 274
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About this Author

Harold R. Jones Labor & employment Attorney Jackson Lewis Law Firm San Francisco
Principle

Harold R. Jones is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. For more than 15 years, Mr. Jones has worked with employers to solve employee-related problems.

Mr. Jones has represented local and national employers in a broad array of industries including financial services, hospitality, healthcare, bio-technology, staffing, manufacturing, retail, transportation and technology. Mr. Jones’s practice includes the defense of employers in the full range of civil actions before California courts,...

415-796-5469
James A. Sims, III Labor & Employment Attorney Jackson Lewis San Francisco, CA
Associate

James A. Sims, III, is an Associate in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

415-394-9400
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