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Cal/OSHA's Revised COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard
The saga around Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) has taken several bizarre twists and turns.  After hurriedly adopting the ETS over Thanksgiving weekend 2020, Cal/OSHA set about this spring to fix some problems with the initial ETS regulatory text.  The agency proposed a revised version of the ETS to be considered by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board in late May 2021, but on the eve of that Standards Board meeting, Cal/OSHA pulled it back, purportedly to address the CDC's updated guidance about masks and distancing for vaccinated workers. Inexplicably, however, Cal/OSHA produced an updated proposed amended ETS that was more onerous, not less.

On June 3, 2021, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board convened a special meeting to consider the revisions to the ETS.  The public meeting was long and contentious, with 100+ stakeholders testifying lasting late into the evening.  Initially, the Board voted to reject the proposed revisions because the updated ETS ignored the CDC's science-based guidance on masking and physical distancing for vaccinated individuals and required employers to indefinitely provide scarce N95 respirators to every unvaccinated worker in the state of California. However, a little later that evening, the Board voted to convene a Subcommittee to make the standard "better" and, in an about-face, reconsidered its earlier vote and adopted the proposed revisions in the interim. 

Then at a special meeting held on June 9, 2021, the Standards Board voted to withdraw the recently approved revised version of the ETS.  The Division is tasked with introducing by June 11th a new proposed revised ETS that better aligns with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health guidance (i.e., no masking for fully vaccinated workers even if there are some unvaccinated people present). The new revised ETS will be voted on at the Board’s next scheduled meeting on June 17th and, if approved, go into effect on June 28th.

Jun 18, 2021 10:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Andrew J. Sommer
OSHA Partner, Conn Maciel Carey
Andrew Sommer is a partner in Conn Maciel Carey’s San Francisco office. He advises employers on a wide range of labor and employment matters, and defends against claims of discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing, wage and hour violations and wrongful termination. Mr. Sommer also represents employers in inspections and enforcement actions involving Cal/OSHA.
Eric J. Conn
OSHA Partner, Conn Maciel Carey
Eric J. Conn is a founding partner and Chair of the national OSHA • Workplace Safety Practice Group at the law firm Conn Maciel Carey LLP, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of occupational safety & health law. Mr. Conn has practiced for more than a decade alongside the former first General Counsel of the OSH Review Commission. He represents employers in inspections, investigations and enforcement actions involving OSHA, the CSB, MSHA, EPA and state and local safety related agencies. He also handles all aspects of OSHA litigation, from criminal prosecutions to appeals of citations. Mr. Conn also conducts and directs attorney-client privileged workplace safety audits, delivers safety training, and helps employers develop and implement compliant safety and health programs. He writes and speaks extensively on safety & health law issues, including authoring chapters in multiple OSHA Treatises.