The federal vaccine mandate is still on hold, and it will likely be another few months before we get greater clarity on the federal response.
On orders from California Department of Public Health, from December 15 through January 15, 2022, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks indoors.
Cal OSHA will meet on December 16 to vote on re-adoption of the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).
Among the key changes to implementation this time around is the reduction in the distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. In situations where there is close contact between vaccinated and unvaccinated employee groups, employers must provide testing for both. There are also provisions regarding the re-implementation of social distancing for unvaccinated workers.
Businesses are concerned with the availability and cost of testing, difficulties posed from social distancing, and ambiguity for how to appropriately address employees who do not want to follow the protocols.
If the new language is adopted, which is likely, the new ETS language will take effect January 14th and expire in April, at which point the issue will be brought up again to determine the longevity of such measures.
There are obviously many more key factors that are being discussed and voted upon, but I will wait until the outcome of Thursday’s vote.
In the longer term, there are also discussions over a statewide vaccine mandate, which Governor Newsom does not want to accomplish through executive order. The battle in this arena comes down to what stipulations should be included and which should be excluded, what the definition of “fully vaccinated” is, who is liable for failure to appropriately implement, and more. Those discussions will likely take longer, so the immediate focus is on the outcomes of the December 16 meeting.
As you are undoubtedly aware, there are new Federal mandates set to go into effect regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine for those with 100 or more employees. As with many pieces of legislation and regulation, an exact understanding of how implementation of such mandates work can be a moving target. I am closely monitoring the situation and will keep you informed as we learn more. The text of the OSHA National News Release is found here: https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/national/11042021
What We Know:
- Policies to comply must be in place by December 5, 2021
- Deadline for implementation is January 4, 2022
- Workers must receive paid time off to get vaccinated
- There is a weekly testing option for those who do not want to get vaccinated. This cost is not federally mandated to be covered by the employers. California regulations may differ.
- The federal government has a limited capacity to enforce these laws and will rely largely on employee enforcement and claims filed against specific employers.
- A significant portion of the workforce is resistant to the vaccine. It may become more difficult to find enough workers to fulfill your needs.
- Even with the testing option for employees, the parameters of the testing option are potentially burdensome to the employees and thus will disincentivize them from joining or maintaining their position in the workforce.
- While this is listed as a temporary measure, there is little clarity on how long this mandate will be in effect.
- Almost immediately after the announcement at the end last week, numerous pieces of litigation were filed against the mandate. I will be monitoring these pieces of litigation to see how they affect implementation timefrarmes.
- There are new medical developments in the works, one being a COVID-19 pill that reduces the severity of symptoms if someone were to contract the disease. This alternative option, once approved, will undoubtedly need to be included in regulations as an option. We will monitor these updates and the public reception to this alternative to see how it affects ease of implementation.
I will provide updates as soon as more information becomes available.
In response to the recent emergency Cal OSHA standards published on November 30, 2020, I have prepared a draft Covid Prevention Plan which can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CAOzdU9Cpw_hw17Jspr_LVheOFAjEURD/view?usp=sharing
I have written the program to reflect the operating procedures that I’ve observed during client visits. These are the standard things that most Counties have already dictated. Please review the entire document and make changes where appropriate to ensure that it accurately reflects what YOUR facility is currently doing, i.e., do not commit yourself to anything that you are not actually doing.
ManPower Compliance Services
California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board unanimously approved emergency temporary standards for workplace coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposures. The board now will submit the rule text to the state Office of Administrative Law. If approved by the Office of Administrative Law in the next 10 calendar days, the emergency standards will be in effect immediately and remain in effect for 180 days. The standards board may twice readopt temporary standards for 1 additional 90-day period each .
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) will enforce the standards.
Employers must have a written COVID-19 prevention plan under the emergency rules to address issues, including:
Communicating information to employees about COVID-19 symptoms and illnesses, prevention, and testing and establishing a system for employees to report exposures without fear of retaliation;
Identifying and evaluating COVID-19 exposure hazards and identifying workplace conditions and practices that could result in potential exposure;
Procedures for screening employees for symptoms;
Procedures for responding to and investigating cases in the workplace, responding immediately to potential exposures by following steps to determine who may have been exposed, providing notice within 1 business day about potential exposures, and offering testing to workers who may have been exposed;
Correcting COVID-19 hazards, especially following a workplace outbreak, including correcting unsafe conditions and work practices, as well as providing effective training and instruction;
Physical distancing and implementing procedures to ensure workers stay at least 6 feet apart from other people if possible;
Providing face coverings and ensuring they are worn;
Adopting site-specific strategies such as changes to the workplace and work schedules and providing personal protective equipment to reduce exposure to the virus;
Maintaining records of positive COVID-19 cases and illnesses and making the COVID-19 prevention plan available to employees and their representatives;
Removing exposed workers and COVID-19-positive workers from the workplace, with measures to protect pay and benefits;
Establishing criteria for employees to return to work after recovering from COVID-19;
Establishing requirements for testing and notifying public health departments of workplace outbreaks—3 or more cases in a workplace in a 14-day period—and major outbreaks, which are 20 or more cases within a 30-day period; and
Establishing and maintaining infection prevention practices in employer-provided housing and transportation to and from work.
The text of the regulations can be found here: https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/COVID-19-Prevention-Emergency-txtbrdconsider.pdf?utm_campaign=Periodic%20Updates&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=100879870&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_odnIMmVxpjsyZ6gkJevwAs6rkTKAY9I3F7-QPWZggb57LtVkRBCVOWyMf9IFWGHq3PLUq_QXgl_nDyC5XiFXCSpUofg&utm_content=100879870&utm_source=hs_email
More information to follow as it becomes available.
ManPower Compliance Services
DISCLAIMER: Information regarding COVID-19 is dynamic and constantly evolving. The information provided here is a brief guidance for employers and employees to undertake in order to protect themselves in the workplace. There is no warranty implied or expressed regarding the completeness or accuracy of information presented here. The information provided here is not complete and/or exhaustive.
The guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Cal OSHA published May 7, 2020 (https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-auto-dealerships.pdf ) indicated that employers should have a worksite-specific COVID-19 Prevention Plan. The documents that have already been published and used by County of Los Angeles Public Health and Ventura County appear to specifically meet CDPH/Cal OSHA specifications. Thus far, Santa Barbara County and Riverside County do not appear to have similar documents. In the absence of specific guidance from other Counties, the Los Angeles County document appears to be a good model to use.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEALERSHIP REOPENING PROTOCOL: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/docs/protocols/Reopening-CarDealerships.pdf
VENTURA COUNTY COVID PREVENTION PLAN: https://s30623.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Worksite-Specific-COVID-19-Prevention-Plan-Retail-050720-v4.xlsx
The CDPH/Cal OSHA guidance document also states that the Covid-19 Prevention Plan should include employee training. To that end, I have added an attendance roster to the OSHA “10 Steps” poster which can be used to satisfy the training element.
OTHER USEFUL LINKS:
CDC general information: www.cdc.gov
Stop the spread of germs poster: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf
CDC Handwashing guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
List of EPA Discenfectants- https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
CDC cleaning-disinfection guidelines https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html
CDC Glove removal poster: https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/poster-how-to-remove-gloves.pdf
OSHA Laws for respirator Appendix D: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.134AppD
How to Properly Put on and Take Off Disposable Respirator Poster (CDC, Niosh): https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2010-131/pdfs/2010-131.pdf?id=10.26616/NIOSHPUB2010131
e-Manifest was launched nationwide on June 30, 2018. As no hauler currently has an end-to-end electronic manifesting system that interfaces with the EPA, the current paper-based system will persist for the short-term. However, TSDFs (treatment, storage and disposal facilities) must now submit manifests electronically to the EPA at a cost of $4 – $20 per manifest. This cost will be passed on to generators either by increased hauling fees or by itemizing the fee out separately.
Generators who wish to review the manifests that are uploaded by their TSDF can register for a free EPA e-Manifest account at https://rcrainfo.epa.gov/rcrainfoprod/action/public/industry-register/new-account, but there is no requirement to do so at this time. The EPA’s goal is to completely eliminate the use of paper manifests within five years and it will undoubtedly take some time before this new process is smoothed-out.
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has adopted a change of the required verbiage for The Proposition 65 warning signs that will go into effect August 30, 2018. The California New Car Dealer Association has the new signs and stickers available to its members through Reynolds and Reynolds at 800-559-3676.
The new verbiage can be found here:
As Proposition 65 is a matter of ongoing case law, Manpower Compliance Services cannot offer legal advice. Any questions regarding this matter would be best handled by qualified legal counsel. However, MCS will make every effort to provide access to the best published information on this subject as it becomes available.
Facilities can now register online for a California Lead Acid Battery Fee account with the California State Board of Equalization here: http://boe.ca.gov/industry/lead-acid_battery_fees.html#Started
Be sure to read the other sections of their website (Overview, Dealers/Retailers, Industry Topics, Resources) for additional information or contact your ManPower Compliance Services representative at 877-626-7697.
Beginning on April 1, 2017 a mandatory $1 California Battery Fee must be collected for lead acid battery purchases, similar to the current fee for tires. The text of the law can be read here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2153
The fee must be listed as a separate line item on the invoice as “California Battery Fee”. If a person purchases more than one lead-acid battery in a single transaction, and is therefore imposed more than one California lead-acid battery fee in that transaction, the dealer is not required to individually list on the invoice each California lead-acid battery fee imposed, but may instead condense the fees to a single-line item. Also, dealers are not to accept more than six batteries per customer per day.
Note that there is no charge for warranty batteries or replaced batteries under a service agreement. Facilities will have to register with the State BOE and remit fees to the state after completing appropriate forms (forms not yet available). The facility will be able to retain 1.5% of the fee as reimbursement for any costs associated with the collection of the fee and the dealer will remit the remainder to the State Board of Equalization (state board) for deposit into the Lead-Acid Battery Cleanup Fund. On and after April 1, 2022, the amount of the fee will increase to two dollars.
Dealers can continue to charge their normal core credit fee if the core is not provided at the time of battery purchase. Customer must bring the core to the dealer within 45 days of the new battery purchase to claim the deposit paid at the time of the battery purchase. The refundable deposit must be indicated on the invoice as a separate line item and not included with any other fees or charges. After 45 days, if no core is returned, the dealer can keep the core credit minus the sales tax remitted.
A written notice is to be included for batteries sold OR included on the invoice as follows:
“This dealer is required by law to charge a non-refundable deposit of a $1.00 California Battery Fee and a refundable deposit for each lead-acid battery purchased. A credit for the refundable deposit will be issued if a used lead-acid battery is returned at the time of purchase or returned within 45 days of the new battery purchase along with the receipt”. A PDF version of this sign is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0OgnW996l9GdDVYVEZrOVlZS28/view?usp=sharing
Completing and Posting the OSHA Log 300
Everything is REPORTABLE, but NOT all incidents are recordable.
With limited expectations, every employer in the state (including state and local public agencies), must complete the Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, also known as the OSHA Log 300 (Title 8, California Code of Regulations §14301. Below are guidelines for determining the recordability of an injury or illness on OSHA Log 300.
Recordable (i.e., NOT First Aid) vs. Non Recordable (i.e., “First Aid”)
If injury or illness involves:
If injury or illness involves: