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Understanding Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Exclusion-Pay Mandate, SHRM

Posted Feb 5, 2021

By Katherine S. Catlos, partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP in San Francisco, and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
SHRM l February 5, 2021

Some interesting and fast-moving developments regarding COVID-19 paid-leave laws will significantly affect California employers. The state’s supplemental paid-sick-leave mandate for large employers and the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act for smaller employers have both expired, but California employers must now reckon with new pay rules under the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued ETS regulations that require employers to exclude certain employees from the workplace until they can return safely. During this time, employers must provide paid, job-protected leave for the period the employees are excluded. The regulations require employers to pay (without any cap) for the time employees are excluded from the worksite.

Here’s a breakdown of what triggers the pay mandate and how employers are required to respond.

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