Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard Goes into Effect

December 3, 2020

As of November 30, contractors working in the state of California are required to have a written COVID-19 Prevention Plan. Modeled off the Injury and Illness Prevention Program required of all California employers, the emergency temporary standard requires a written plan that addresses hazard identification, evaluation and correction, investigation, training, physical distancing, face coverings, and other engineering and administrative controls. 

The standard also addresses reporting and recordkeeping and return to work criteria. Employers are required to provide notice within one business day of a potential exposure, and to offer testing at no cost to employees who may have been exposed. Employers are required to exclude exposed employees from the workplace for at least 14 days. Employees who are excluded from the workplace because of possible exposure to COVID-19 will continue to receive earnings and seniority.

In addition to reporting COVID-19 cases to the local health department when required by law, employers are to immediately report to Cal/OSHA any COVID-19-related serious illnesses or death at the workplace or in connection with any employment. To assist employers with better understanding the new standard, Cal/OSHA has developed a webpage of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or

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