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What California Employers Need to Know about CA Assembly Bill 685

Jan 20, 2021 10:58:00 AM

We recently hosted a webinar regarding what CA Assembly Bill 685 requires of California employers, with special guests Wengy Sugg, an experienced labor and employment attorney, and Amir Durrani, VP of Human Resources at NORM’s Restaurants, an iconic CA based restaurant concept with 20+ locations.  Here are the quick hitting highlights of this Bill that went into effect on January 1, 2021.  For a more full explanation, click here to watch the Webinar.


CA Assembly Bill 685 Highlights:
  • Notification requirements for California employers after becoming aware of a potential exposure because someone at the employer’s worksite was infections with COVID-19 or was ordered by a public health official to isolate due to COVID-19 concerns:
    • Provide a WRITTEN NOTICE to ALL employees, and the employers of subcontracted employees, who were on the premises at the same worksite as the person who was infectious with COVID-19 or who was subject to a COVID-19-related quarantine order.
    • That written notice must be provided WITHIN ONE BUSINESS DAY
    • Employers are required under the new law to keep records of the written notices provided to employees for at least THREE YEARS.
    • Provide information regarding COVID-19-related benefits and protections
    • Provide information regarding disinfection and safety measures
  • CA employers are required to notify local public health agencies of all workplace outbreaks: 3 or more confirmed cases among employees within a two-week period.
  • 2021-2022, Cal/OSHA can issue an OPU to shut down an entire worksite or a specific worksite area that exposes employees to an imminent hazard related to COVID-19.
  • 2021-2022, Cal/OSHA can issue citations for serious violations related to COVID-19 without giving employers 15-day notice before issuance.
  • From January 1, 2021 until January 1, 2023, Cal/OSHA can more quickly issue citations for serious violations related to COVID-19.
    • A Serious Violation may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each such violation. (8 CCR §336(c)(1).)
    • CA Division of Occupational Safety list of citations for COVID-19 safety violations: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/COVID19citations.html
  • What is a workplace outbreak of COVID-19 and how to report it:
  • Outbreak = 3 or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among employees who live in different households within a two-week period.
  • Employers must notify local public health agencies of outbreaks within 48 hours of becoming aware of the number of cases that meets the definition.
  • Employers must notify the local public health agency of the names, phone number, occupation, and worksite of employees who may have COVID-19 or who are under a COVID-19 isolation order from a public health official.
  • An employer that has an outbreak must continue to give notice to the local health department of any subsequent laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the worksite.
Shawn Boyer

Written by Shawn Boyer

Shawn Boyer, Founder & CEO of goHappy.