New Cal/OSHA Rules Come Into Effect This Year

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With a new year comes changes and updates to existing labor regulations that employers and employees need to pay close attention to. The last thing an employer wants is to find their company under the scrutiny of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

The health and safety of workers continues to be an important focus, which means employers and their employees must become informed about the rules and regulations that will go into effect this year. In fact, employees who are familiar with Cal/OSHA regulations are better able to identify if their rights have been violated by their employer.

On January 1st, 2018, the California state budget bill came into effect and made various updates to Cal/OSHA regulations. In addition to changing the dollar amount for fines and penalties, Senate Bill 96 (SB 96) also increase the time-frame for which the Division of Occupational Safety and Health can conduct an investigation of a retaliation claim. The old Cal/OSHA regulations had only 60 days to complete an investigation. With the new guidelines, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health now has a full year to complete an investigation.

As sated above, the penalties for labor violations are going to increase this year. Employers who make repeated Cal/OSHA violations will now face a $124,709 penalty, as opposed to the old $70,000 penalty fee. Maximum fines for civic penalties will increase from $7,000 to 12,471 for each violation that is deemed not serious. For industrial employers, there is no longer a maximum fine for violations related to carcinogens or crane safety orders.

Although the changes went into effect on January 1, 2017, they are not expected to be enforced until a public rule-making process is completed.

Do you have questions about how the new Cal/OSHA regulations will affect you? We can help. Contact our Hollister employment law attorney to set up a free consultation today.