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California Gov. Gavin Newsom is now considering three separate bills that aim to tackle workplace safety issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A.B. 2043, which passed both Assembly and Senate late last month, would require the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health to “disseminate, in both English and Spanish, information on best practices for COVID-19 infection prevention” consistent with Cal/OSHA’s guidelines. The bill would also require the division to work collaboratively with community organizations and organizations representing employees and employers to conduct a statewide outreach campaign, targeted at agricultural employees, to assist with the statewide dissemination of the best practices.
S.B. 275, which also passed both chambers late last month, would require the State Department of Public Health and the Office of Emergency Services, in coordination with other state agencies, to, upon appropriation and as necessary, establish a personal protective equipment stockpile.
A.B. 685, which also passed last month, would authorize Cal/OSHA when “in its opinion, a place of employment, operation, or process, or any part thereof, exposes workers to the risk of” COVID-19 “so as to constitute an imminent hazard to employees, to prohibit the performance of that operation or process, or entry into that place of employment.” The bill would require Cal/OSHA to provide a notice thereof to the employer, to be posted in a conspicuous place at the place of employment.
All three bills were presented to the governor this week.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require employers to accommodate workers who want to avoid exposing family members who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says in the latest update of its pandemic guidance.