January 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 18


January 15, 2021

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KH OSHA Law Update

On November 30, 2020, the state of California approved an emergency regulation to address COVID-19 risks and prevention measures.  Employers must comply with the new rule effective immediately. California now joins states like Virginia, Oregon, and Michigan to have its own emergency temporary standard for COVID-19.  This emergency regulation creates numerous new requirements for employers in the areas of:

  • employer-mandated COVID-19 testing, to be conducted continuously

  • paid time off during quarantine

  • a duty to investigate Covid-19 cases, including the date and time of a positive test, date of symptoms, and contact tracing

  • notification employees and public health officials of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases

  • cleaning and disinfection

  • face coverings

  • social distancing, and

  • significant restrictions on employer-provided housing and transportation.

Employers have raised concerns that the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Board failed to demonstrate that the emergency regulation is necessary to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure given that existing local, state and federal law and guidance already address these risks.  The emergency regulation requires employers to investigate even non work-related exposures.  The emergency temporary standard also creates potential conflicts with other federal and state laws and CDC guidance. 

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 338



About this Author

Manesh K. Rath, Keller Heckman, Occupational Safety lawyer, Associations Attorney

Manesh Rath is a trial and appellate attorney with experience in general commercial litigation, food litigation, wage and hour and class action litigation, occupational safety and health law, association law, accessibility, and labor law.

Mr. Rath has been the lead amicus counsel on several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Staub v. Proctor Hospital and Vance v. Ball State University.

Mr. Rath is a co-author of three books in the fields of OSHA law, wage and hour law, and labor and...

Lawrence P. Halprin, Keller Heckman, Workplace Injury Litigation Lawyer, OSHA Regulation Attorney

Lawrence Halprin joined Keller and Heckman in 1978.

Lawrence Halprin is nationally recognized for his work in the areas of occupational safety and health, and chemical regulation, at the federal and state levels. His occupational safety and health practice covers all aspects of legal advocacy, including: legislative reform and oversight; participation in OSHA, NIOSH and MSHA rulemakings and stakeholders processes; participation in the development of national consensus standards under the ANSI process, and TLVs under the ACGIH process; bringing...