New reporting requirements for COVID-19 exposures at work became effective on January 1, 2021. The new requirements impose obligations for employers to notify employees (and employers of subcontracted employees) of COVID-19 exposures and to notify public health officials of outbreaks in the workplace. The new law also expands the authority of Cal/OSHA to close down a workplace, or portion of a workplace, if Cal/OSHA determines that it is unsafe due to COVID-19.  We have summarized below the details of the new requirements.

Closures, Prohibitions on Use, and Posting at the Workplace.  When a place of employment, operation, or process, or any part thereof, exposes workers to the risk of infection from COVID-19 which creates an imminent hazard, Cal/OSHA may prohibit entry  or prohibit the operation or process.

  • The prohibition must be limited to the immediate area where the hazard exists.
  • The employer must post the notice provided by Cal/OSHA in a conspicuous location in the workplace, and the notice may only be removed by Cal/OSHA after a determination that the place of employment, operation, or process is safe.

Notice to Employees. If an employer receives notice of a potential exposure to an individual who was infected with COVID-19