Revised CalOSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)

The Local has recently received the information concerning the revised CalOSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) below; this should clarify a lot of questions members have concerning the new relaxation of COVID rules for the workplace in California. We should pay particular attention to the vaccination status when considering what will be the requisites in the workplace. Most importantly to notice is that in order to allow employees to go without a mask indoors, the employer must document their vaccination status. Therefore, the employer is permitted to ask one’s vaccination status for the purpose of allowing that person to go without a mask indoors. From the information that courts around California are sending to the local, most are indicating that if a person has not been vaccinated, or does not respond to self-identify as vaccinated or not, those persons will be required to wear masks indoors at the workplace. 

We encourage members to directly contact our local, or even the CalOSHA links in this communication for further information. We will update as we become aware of any changes that may impact you in the courts. Still to be determined is if the courts will allow the public in without masks en masse, or only those who can show they have been fully vaccinated. For the time being all custodial entities are continuing with the previous set of protocols.

Again, if you feel that you are in a situation or setting that is unsafe or unhealthy, remember that you have a health and safety clause in your MOU. Immediately inform your supervisor or interpreter office of the unhealthy or unsafe condition, request that it be rectified, and keep yourself safe (but in contact with your supervisor) indicating that you are ready and willing to continue working once the situation has been made safe. Be sure to advise us at the local ([email protected]) and cc us on any communications you may have with management concerning health and safety issues … 

In unity,

Michael Ferreira


Release Number: 2021-62                                             

Date:  June 17, 2021

Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board Votes to Adopt Revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards

Revisions Account for Rising Vaccination Rates, Offer Guidance to Help Businesses Reopen while Maintaining Strong Worker Protections 

Revised Emergency Temporary Standards Effective Today

Sacramento—The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board today adopted revisions to the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards that account for recent guidance from the California Department of Public Health based on increases in the number of people vaccinated. Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order enabling the revisions to take effect without the normal 10-day review period by the Office of Administrative Law—providing clarity and consistency for employers and employees as California fully reopens its economy. The revised standards took effect today.

The revisions include the following:

  • Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or excluded from work after close contact unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear face coverings except for certain situations during outbreaks and in settings where CDPH requires all persons to wear them. Employers must document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated employees if they do not wear face coverings indoors.
  • Employees are not required to wear face coverings when outdoors regardless of vaccination status except for certain employees during outbreaks.
  • Employees are explicitly allowed to wear a face covering without fear of retaliation from employers.
  • Physical distancing requirements have been eliminated except where an employer determines there is a hazard and for certain employees during major outbreaks.
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated may request respirators for voluntary use from their employers at no cost and without fear of retaliation from their employers.
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated and exhibit COVID-19 symptoms must be offered testing by their employer.
  • Employer-provided housing and transportation are exempt from the regulations where all employees are fully vaccinated.
  • Employers must review the Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments.
  • Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtration efficiency, and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems.

Cal/OSHA is updating its resources to assist employers with understanding their obligations required by the revised emergency standards. The webpage contains an updated fact sheet and Frequently Asked Questions about proposed revisions to the emergency temporary standards. In addition, Cal/OSHA is currently updating its model COVID-19 Prevention Program in English and Spanish and information on planned webinars hosted by its Consultation Services Branch.

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, a seven-member body appointed by the Governor, is the standards-setting agency within the Cal/OSHA program. The Standards Board's objective is to adopt reasonable and enforceable standards at least as effective as federal standards. The Standards Board also has the responsibility to grant or deny applications for permanent variances from adopted standards and respond to petitions for new or revised standards.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, is the division within the Department of Industrial Relations that helps protect California’s workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Media Contact[email protected], (510) 286-1161 

Employers with Questions on Requirements May Contact:[email protected], or call your local Cal/OSHA Consultation Office

Stakeholders Who Wish to Comment on the Rulemaking Process May Contact: [email protected]

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