On February 28, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that updates the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to align with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance on face coverings for indoor locations issued the same day.

The executive order states that beginning March 1, 2022, masks will no longer be required for unvaccinated workers indoors. This is consistent with the CDPH guidance and less stringent than the previous Cal/OSHA ETS requirement that “unvaccinated workers wear face coverings at all times while indoors.” Specifically, the executive order suspends California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 3205(c)(6)(A), which provided that “[f]or all employees who are not fully vaccinated, employers shall provide face coverings and ensure they are worn when indoors or in vehicles.”

The order also extends the current ETS through May 5, 2022, to ensure the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has time to review the new guidance in anticipation of the next readoption of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 ETS.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. When Cal/OSHA makes a new proposal to the Standards Board, we will post updates on the California and Workplace Safety and Health blogs and in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.