The Cal/OSHA Standards Board just adopted an emergency standard related to COVID-19 prevention in the workplace, imposing some significant requirements on California employers. Most notably, the new rule finalized yesterday provides that employees excluded from work for having or being exposed to COVID-19 must continue to be paid while they are off work. Employers do not have a lot of time to comply with the new mandates. Following adoption of the emergency proposal, the Standards Board will submit the language to the Office of Administrative Law, which will have 10 days to review and approve the proposal.  Therefore, this complex new standard may be in effect by as soon as November 29. The emergency regulation will be in effect for 180 days, and can be extended. It is anticipated that Cal/OSHA will move forward with regular and permanent rulemaking on this topic during this period of time. This new standard will require California employers to take immediate action on many COVID-19 fronts. So what do California employers need to know? Here are the top nine takeaways for California employers – including specific recommendations about what you need to do in response to each new obligation.

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