California Revokes Workplace Masking Requirements

a person wearing a mask

After a special meeting was held on June 9, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) unanimously voted against the revised version of the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) related to COVID-19. If the measure was approved, the updated ETS would have required fully vaccinated workers to wear face masks indoors unless every person in the room was also fully vaccinated. 

According to the ETS, most California workers would continue to wear masks indoors, outdoors when they are less than six (6) feet away from someone else, and where required by orders from the state’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) or any other local health departments. Fully vaccinated employees without COVID-19 symptoms do not have to wear masks when they are outdoors or—as we mentioned before—when everyone in the room is fully vaccinated without any COVID-19 symptoms. 

Initially, the OSHSB voted for the controversial amendments to the ETS. However, employers strongly opposed many provisions the updated ETS, such as requiring employers to provide N-95 masks to unvaccinated employees Before the measure could take effect, the committee reversed its decision. 

Instead, the OSHSB will explore further revisions to the ETS, which will most likely more closely align with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDPH, which no longer require fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks in most settings as of June 15. 

The issue could be addressed again in OSHSB’s next meeting will be held on June 17, 2021. 

If you are dealing with an employment law issue in California, contact Polaris Law Group today at (888) 796-4010 for more information about our experienced legal services. Serving clients in Redding, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Oakland, San Francisco, the Bay Area, Stockton & Modesto, Pleasanton, Redwood City, San Jose, the Silicon Valley, Hollister, Salinas, Fresno, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Santa Clarita, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, and San Diego. 

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