Five years after releasing the first draft, and multiple public comment periods later, Cal/OSHA’s regulation on Workplace Violence Prevention in General Industry (WPV Standard) finally appears to be nearing the last stages of the rulemaking process. In a surprising move, the California Legislature is now also close to potentially passing its own, more expansive, Workplace Violence Prevention Bill (SB 553).
Revised Draft Indoor Heat Illness Standard Released
On August 4, 2023, the Standards Board issued its latest revised draft of the Indoor Heat Illness Prevention Standard. During the previous comment period, there was extensive discussion regarding lowering the temperature at which the regulation would apply. However, the latest revised draft maintains the 82 degrees Fahrenheit indoor temperature trigger. Nonetheless, there were notable changes: Read More
Conn Maciel Carey LLP (CMC), a boutique law firm with national practices in labor and employment, workplace safety (OSHA and MSHA), and litigation, is pleased to announce that Megan Shaked has been elevated to Partner.
Ms. Shaked, a seasoned employment litigator and Cal/OSHA practitioner based in San Francisco, CA, represents employers on a wide range of employment matters, including Cal/OSHA investigations and appeals of Cal/OSHA citations, claims of discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour violations, and whistleblower actions. She also conducts workplace harassment prevention training, and counsels employers on workplace safety compliance, the development of employee handbooks, hiring and termination decisions, leaves of absence and accommodations, and wage and hour compliance.
Ms. Shaked was an integral part of the expansion of CMC’s California Practice when she joined the firm back in 2018. And now she is a key player in the next big expansion of the firm’s California Practice. Read More
During last week’s California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board meeting, the spotlight was on silica. But an equally clear message was front and center throughout the meeting – Cal/OSHA has a packed rulemaking agenda.
Silica Emergency Temporary Standard
The Standards Board granted, in part, Petition 597, to amend the current regulation on Occupational Exposures to Respirable Crystalline Silica (section 5204) via Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to address the growing number of reported cases of advanced silicosis among workers exposed to silica in engineered stone fabrication.
Following extensive public comment, Cal/OSHA argued that an ETS would be Read More
A little over a month into the life of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Non-Emergency Rule and we already have our first significant update. Effective March 13, 2023, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated its Guidance on Isolation and Quarantine to modify the period of isolation for COVID-19 cases and the definition of “infectious period.” The change was implemented to align California’s guidance with the CDC Recommendations for Isolation. This CDPH guidance does not apply to certain healthcare and emergency medical services personnel who are covered by other guidance documents. Cal/OSHA has also revised its Frequently Asked Questions accordingly.
Timing for COVID-19 Cases to End Isolation
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should continue to isolate for at least 5 days, starting the day after the start of symptoms or a first positive test. But now, such individuals may leave isolation after day 5 if they are experiencing no symptoms or symptoms are improving, AND have been fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication).
The CDPH guidance generally calls for infectious individuals to Read More
For the past two years, Conn Maciel Carey has represented a broad coalition comprised of California and national employers and trade associations from a diverse range of industries in advocating to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board about the roller coaster of COVID-19 emergency and non-emergency rulemaking, in the form of preparing numerous rounds of written comments, testifying in public meetings, and participating by invitation as one of only a small number of management-side representatives on a rulemaking Advisory Committee established by Cal/OSHA for the COVID-19 regulatory process. We have been intrinsically involved in the four iterations of Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), and the COVID-19 Non-Emergency Rule that was recently adopted for a two-year term.
Those of you whose organizations participated in our California Employers COVID-19 Prevention Coalition know that together we accomplished a great deal, with material improvement for employers to the COVID-19 regulatory landscape in California. Our coalition’s input is reflected in the regulatory text of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 ETS and now the COVID-19 Non-Emergency Rule, as well as in several batches of FAQs issued by Cal/OSHA attempting to address some of the concerns and recommendations we identified.
With the completion of the non-emergency rule now, we expect the Cal/OSHA Standards Board to transition in 2023 from the COVID-19 related rulemaking to its regulatory priorities that were forced to the backburner because of the pandemic, including work on: Read More
On December 15, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted 6-1 to adopt the COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations. The Non-Emergency Rule was proposed to replace the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, which has been in effect in four different versions since November 30, 2020 and is set to expire on December 31, 2022.
Discussion from the Standards Board Meeting
During the meeting, stakeholders provided public comments on the proposed Non-Emergency Rule. During the public comment period, Conn Maciel Carey spoke on behalf of the California Employers COVID-19 Prevention Coalition, composed of a broad array of California employers and trade groups substantially impacted by Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 rulemaking. We urged the Board to vote “no” on the proposal, highlighting the availability of vaccinations, testing and treatment and the inflexibility of the two-year fixed term. We also Read More
This year, Governor Newsom has signed into law employment bills on disparate subjects such as pay equity, cannabis use, and leaves of absence. These new laws also concern industry-specific mandates for wage and hour compliance and human trafficking avoidance. These new laws take effect on January 1, 2023, unless otherwise noted.
New Pay Equity Law Requiring Disclosure of Employee Pay Scales
Senate Bill (SB) 1162 amends the existing requirement for private employers with 100 or more employees to submit pay data reports to the California Civil Rights Department. The employer pay data reports are now due by the second Wednesday of May 2023, and the second Wednesday of May for each year thereafter. SB 1162 also requires private employers with 100 or more employees hired through labor contractors to submit, by the second Wednesday of May, a separate pay data report to the Civil Rights Department for those employees.
These pay data reports must now include the median and mean hourly rate for each combination of race, ethnicity, and sex within each enumerated job category (for example, executive/senior level officials/managers, professionals, administrative support workers, service workers, etc.). Employers with multiple establishments need not submit a consolidated report, as previously required. Importantly, employers can no longer submit an EEO-1 in lieu of a pay data report.
This law also adds a requirement that Read More
By Megan Shaked
The Cal/OSHA Advisory Committee holds meetings throughout the year to provide information regarding its programs and activities. At the most recent meeting, held on November 10, 2022, the public heard updates from DOSH, the Standards Board, and the Appeals Board.
Here are some highlights from the meeting. A full video and audio recording of the meeting is available here.
Cal/OSHA Chief Jeff Killip noted his goal to try to shift the Advisory Committee meetings to balance providing meaningful data with discussion for a collaborative approach to workplace safety and health. He also shared:
Cal/OSHA Deputy Chief of Health and Research and Standards, Eric Berg, provided an update on the status of rulemaking: Read More
The rulemaking process continues for Cal/OSHA’s Proposed Non-Emergency COVID-19 rule, with the second comment period for the modifications closing.
Conn Maciel Carey again submitted comments on behalf of the California Employers COVID-19 Prevention Coalition. The Coalition, comprised employers and trade groups, has been active in the rulemaking for the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and the Proposed Non-Emergency/Permanent COVID-19 Prevention Standard (Proposed Non-emergency Rule).
A copy of the Coalition’s October 31 comments are available here. To summarize, our comments primarily addressed three concerns raised by the rule modifications:
Definition of Close Contact
On October 13, 2022, the California Department of Public Health updated its definition of “close contact” to Read More