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AB 2693 – Extends And Modifies CalOSHA’s Enforcement Powers Regarding COVID-19 Workplace Exposures And Revises Workplace Exposure Notification Requirements
Under current law, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has the authority to prohibit any operation or process at a workplace, or prohibit entry to the workplace, if there exists a risk of exposure to COVID-19 that constitutes an imminent hazard to employees. Existing law also requires the employer to post a notice of the prohibition at a conspicuous location; violating the prohibition or removing the notice is a crime. This COVID-19-specific law was set to expire on January 1, 2023. Assembly Bill 2693 (AB 2693) extends those provisions until January 1, 2024.
Existing law also imposes specific obligations on employers regarding reporting and notices of COVID-19 exposures and outbreaks. AB 2693 amends those requirements.
First, current law requires employers to provide specified notice to the local public health agency in its jurisdiction if the number of reported workplace cases of COVID-19 amount to an “outbreak.” Current law also requires the Department of Public Health to publicize workplace industry information received from local public health departments on its website. AB 2693 deletes those provisions.
Second, current law requires an employer who receives notice of a potential exposure on its worksite to provide all employees who were on the premises with written notice that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Under AB 2693, employers are only required to post a prominently-displayed notice on each worksite or on an electronic employee portal stating (a) the dates on which an employee or subcontractor with a confirmed case of COVID-19 was on the premises, (b) the location of the exposure, including the department, floor, building, or another area, and (c) the contact information for employees to receive information regarding COVID-19 related benefits. The notice must be posted within one (1) business day, must remain posted for no less than 15 calendar days, and must be in English and the language understood by the majority of employees. Employers may, but are not required to, provide direct written notice to each employee instead.
Employers must also provide written notice to the exclusive labor representative, if any, of confirmed cases and employees who had close contact with those confirmed cases, within one business day.
(AB 2693 amends Sections 6325 and 6409.6 of the Labor Code.)