On September 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 1159 into law, which is effective immediately for all employers. Among other things, the law creates a “disputable presumption” under workers’ compensation statutes for certain employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and establishes reporting requirements on confirmed cases and number of employees. Access the article.
California’s AB 685, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom last week, does two things: (1) it creates an enforceable statewide standard for how employers handle potential exposure to COVID-19 and outbreaks of COVID-19 in the workplace; and (2) it expands the power of California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to enforce this standard and to take action to protect employees, including shutting down worksites deemed to be an "imminent hazard" due to COVID-19 risk. The following Frequently Asked Questions are provided to guide employers through the details regarding how the new law will require employers to handle a potential exposure scenario, and to explain the new authority of Cal/OSHA's enforcement powers. Access the article.