Comment Period Set for Cal/OSHA’s Permanent COVID-19 Rule

Last month, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) revealed a proposed Permanent COVID-19 regulation. The draft permanent rule is intended to replace the current version of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that is set to expire at the end of 2022.  Here is a link to the agency’s draft regulatory text for the permanent rule.

The proposed permanent rule is expected to remain in effect for two years, except for the record-making and recordkeeping provisions that would remain effective for three years.

On July 29, 2022, the Standards Board issued the attached rulemaking notice that set both the date for a meeting of the Standards Board when the proposed COVID-19 permanent rule would be debated and discussed, as well as an official due date for written comments from interested stakeholder.  Both of those are set for September 15, 2022.

The rulemaking process for the proposed permanent rule is different than with the prior iterations of the emergency COVID-19 rulemaking.  A nonemergency rule requires Read More

Cal/OSHA Updates FAQs Following New CDPH Definition of Close Contacts

By Megan S. Shaked

With the definition of “close contacts” now focused on “shared indoor airspace” rather than the 6 feet/15 minute threshold, Cal/OSHA has updated its FAQs to assist in interpreting the various ETS requirements implicated by the new definition.

Background

When the current version of the ETS was adopted, it specified that if close contact is defined “by regulation or order of the CDPH,” the CDPH definition would apply rather than the definition provided in the ETS itself.  When CDPH issued an order on June 8 updating its definition of “close contact,” that new definition applied to the ETS.  (Cal/OSHA updated its FAQs on June 21 to make clear that the new definition applies to the ETS.)

On June 9, CDPH followed up with updated FAQs to address this new definition.

Cal/OSHA’s FAQs re New Definition of Close Contact

On Monday, Cal/OSHA added its own update to its FAQs, adding a “Definitions” section to address the updated definition of close contact: Read More

Conn Maciel Carey Adds Two Exceptional OSHA and Employment Law Associates in California and DC

Conn Maciel Carey LLP is pleased to announce the addition of two talented new attorneys — Samuel S. Rose (Los Angeles), and Darius Rohani-Shukla (Washington, DC).

Associate Sam Rose supports both the firm’s OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice and the Labor and Employment Practice. He represents employers in a broad range of employment issues and Cal/OSHA compliance and enforcement matters, and he revises employee handbooks and workplace policies and procedures.

“I’m excited to grow as attorney and develop true expertise in employment and OSHA law,” Mr. Rose says. “The partners are all so knowledgeable and willing to mentor and train associates.”

Sam’s legal career began at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office (Brooklyn, NY), where he prosecuted a wide range of criminal cases. Read More

Cal/OSHA’s Proposed “Permanent” COVID-19 Rule Has Just Issued

Cal/OSHA’s rulemaking process does not allow for any more “re-adoptions” of the COVID-19 emergency rule, so if COVID-19 regulatory requirements are to remain, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board will need to adopt a permanent COVID-19 rule. While Captureclarity had been lacking over the content and timing of any such rule, at a meeting of the Standards Board last week, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) revealed a proposed permanent COVID-19 rule. This draft permanent rule is intended to replace the COVID-19 emergency rule, which presently expires at the end of 2022.  Here is a link to the draft regulatory text.

The proposed permanent rule is expected to remain in effect for two years, except for the recordkeeping provisions that would be effective for three years.  While DOSH previously indicated that the “permanent” rule would be consistent with the emergency rule, there are a few significant changes we’ve highlighted. Read More

CAL/OSHA RELEASES UPDATED DRAFT OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION IN GENERAL INDUSTRIES STANDARD

By Andrew J. Sommer and Samuel S. Rose

In 2014, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board ordered the creation of an Advisory Committee to consider a workplace violence prevention standard for “all California workplaces.”  The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) – the enforcement agency – was tasked with drafting a proposed rule, which it did in December 2017 and then revised in October 2018.  This rulemaking process has since remained dormant largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic reshuffling priorities.

Then, on May 17, 2022, DOSH released a revised draft of its proposed Workplace Violence Prevention in All Industries standard (Proposed Rule). This may be a sign the Proposed Rule is coming to a vote by the Standards Board. We have summarized the key components of the Proposed Rule below.

WHO DOES THIS STANDARD APPLY TO?

The Proposed Rule would apply to “all employers,” with limited exception. It does not apply to Read More

Chambers USA Recognizes Conn Maciel Carey as 1 of Only 3 “Band 1” Ranked Law Firms for OSHA Law

Conn Maciel Carey LLP (CMC) is honored to announce that the firm has been recognized as one of only three national law firms ranked in Band 1 Nationwide for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Law. CMC is the only “boutique” firm among all of the law firms recognized.

The recognition comes from Chambers and Partners, an independent research company that delivers detailed rankings and insight into the world’s leading lawyers. This is the first year that Chambers has ranked the OSHA Law practice area.

Chambers’ researchers identified CMC as a “leading national boutique handling the full spectrum of labor and employment litigation with particular emphasis on workplace safety issues. The group…maintains a strong track record in complex OSHA inspections and enforcement matters.”

Among the client comments collected by Chambers about the firm, one stated that CMC’s OSHA Team “offers impressive expertise in federal- and state-level workplace safety laws, and has been especially active in recent months guiding clients through COVID-19 compliance…The firm is the real deal; it is a top OSHA firm.”

Read More

Cal/OSHA Updates FAQs Following Third Readoption of COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

By Megan S. Shaked

Now that Cal/OSHA’s Third Readoption of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard is in effect, the agency has updated its Frequently Asked Questions to reflect those revisions effective May 6, 2022.  (See our previous blog articles regarding the revisions in the Third Readoption and the Board vote to approve the readoption.)

Many of the updated FAQs simply reflect the revised ETS language itself, for example, removing references to vaccination status as the ETS requirements are no longer dependent on such status.  The FAQs have also been updated to reflect the current terminology used in the Third Readoption, for example, using “infections period” instead of “high risk exposure period.”

However, some of the updated Frequently Asked Questions provide added clarity regarding the current requirements: Read More

Cal/OSHA Standards Board Approves Third Re-Adoption of COVID-19 Emergency Rule

As expected, on April 21st the Cal/OSHA Standards Board voted to adopt the proposed third re-adoption of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard.  The Board voted 6-1, with management representative Kathleen Crawford casting the sole no vote.  The new rule iteration is set to take effect on about May 2, 2022, once approved by the Office of Administrative Law, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2022.  As mentioned in our prior blog post, the third re-adoption retains the core elements of the emergency rule but with various substantive changes.

DOSH Deputy Chief Eric Berg, in his briefing to the Board ahead of the vote, indicated that there will be FAQs issued to address the re-adoption.  He also noted, in light of concerns over employees refusing testing, that employers can require testing.  He cited the current Cal/OSHA FAQs referencing the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s FAQ on this topic. Read More

Cal/OSHA Issues Revised COVID-19 Emergency Rule – Third Re-Adoption

By Andrew J. Sommer and Fred Walter

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has just released a proposed draft for the third re-adoption COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  The Board will vote on the proposed rule at its next meeting on April 21, 2022, and the text is expected to be approved.  This new rule will remain in effect until December 31, 2022, after which time the Board may consider a permanent infectious disease standard for general industry – presenting another battle to be waged.  Here is a redlined draft showing  changes from the current emergency rule.

Some of the changes in this draft ETS are minor, while others are quite substantive.  Here are some highlights: Read More

Cal/OSHA Enforcement and Regulatory Update [Webinar Recording]

On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, Andrew Sommer, Fred Walter, and Megan Shaked presented a webinar regarding a Cal/OSHA Enforcement and Regulatory Update.

This has been a challenging year for California employers navigating the COVID-19 pandemic with a set of ever-changing regulatory requirements, as well as a flurry of other new workplace safety laws the legislature passed towards the end of 2021.  This update covered the latest legislative and rulemaking developments concerning COVID-19, including the second re-adopted COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard.  We also covered other laws creating new workplace safety requirements and expanding the Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (DOSH) enforcement authority.

During this webinar, participants learned about: Read More

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