On October 5, 2021, California approved Assembly Bill 654 (AB 654 or “bill”) to amend California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 notice and reporting regulations. The bill became immediately effective and will remain in effect until January 1, 2023.
What Does the Bill Require?
The bill requires employers to give notice of COVID-19 outbreaks to:
- Individuals and employees who had close contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19;
- All employees who were on-premises at the same worksite as the infected person; and
- Local public health agencies within 48 hours or one business day, whichever is later.
A qualifying employee includes any person who has:
- A laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19, as defined by the State Department of Public Health.
- A positive COVID-19 diagnosis from a licensed health care provider.
- A COVID-19-related order to isolate provided by a public health official.
- A death due to COVID-19, in the determination of a county public health department or per inclusion in the COVID-19 statistics of a county.
Employers must also notify employees and employers of subcontracted employees about their cleaning and disinfection plan, which must be consistent with state and federal requirements.
Which Employers Are Exempt From Notice Requirements?
The bill expands the employers that are exempt from the COVID-19 outbreak reporting requirements to various licensed entities, including:
- Community clinics;
- Adult day health centers;
- Community care facilities; and
- Child day care facilities.
More information is available on the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Guidance and Resources website.