Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace
California Law Alerts - June 29, 2020
On June 16, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a checklist for employers experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 in their workplace with the following:
- How to prepare for identification of COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace.
- How to prepare to share information with the local health department and other stakeholders.
- Understanding requirements for reporting employee cases to Cal/OSHA.
- Identifying additional employee cases and close contacts of cases to control further spread in the workplace.
- Notification and management of employees.
- Determining when it is appropriate for case and contacts of cases to return to work.
- How to perform frequent cleaning and disinfecting as well as deep/enhanced cleaning and disinfection after employees with COVID-19 have been at work.
- Where to check for new and additional resources.
- CDC guidance.
- Cal/OSHA guidance.
- The Governor’s roadmap with additional employer checklists.
CDPH advises employers to be mindful that identification of a
single positive case among employees
may quickly develop into an outbreak.
Minimum Wage Increases for Localities
Recording and Reporting Requirements for COVID-19 Cases
In May 2020, the California Department of Industrial Relations released frequently asked questions addressing California employers’ responsibilities to record COVID-19 work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses, like any other occupational illness, on their Log 300.
To be recordable, an illness must be work-related and result in one of the following:
- Days away from work.
- Restricted work or transfer to another job.
- Medical treatment beyond first aid.
- Loss of consciousness.
- A significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional.
If a work-related COVID-19 case meets one of these criteria, then covered employers in California must record the case on their 300, 300A and 301 or equivalent forms.
The FAQs also address all of the following:
- Whether a COVID-19 case must be confirmed to be recordable.
- How to determine if a COVID-19 case is work-related for recordkeeping purposes.
- Whether time an employee spends in quarantine is considered “days away from work” for recording purposes.
- When employers must immediately report COVID-19 illnesses to Cal/OSHA.
- What to do when employees become sick at work but the illness is not work-related.
- What to do when an employee began to show symptoms outside of work.
- Whether an illness must be reported even if COVID-19 has not yet been diagnosed.
- Liability when reporting a serious illness.
Read the FAQs