Governor Newsom has until September 30,2020 to sign or veto any bills passed by the legislature. Last week the Governor signed AB 685 as part of a larger workforce protection package related to COVID-19. The new law requires employers to provide written notice and instruction to employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 at their worksite. The law also creates an imminent hazard provision specific to COVID-19 and authorizes enforcement based on protocols issued by California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The law intends to provide employers with clarity related to reporting and notification requirements specific to COVID-19. Several provisions have been added, or amended, to the Labor Code (Section 6325, 6409.6, and 6432) that specify the requirements. New requirements include provisions that if an employer or representative of the employer receives notice of potential exposure to COVID-19, the employer SHALL take all required actions within 1 day. The requirements include specified notifications in English and Spanish, and information about COVID-19 related benefits.
The new law does exempt “health facilities” defined in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code, which does include hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities (including ICF/DD/DH/DN, and ICF-CN with capacity of 4 – 8). congregate living health facilities (capacity of not more than 18 beds), county/city congregate living (capacity of 59 beds), correctional treatment facility, and hospice facilities.
Governor Newson has signed several workforce bills into law which could impact employers (large and small) and employees within the DD system. For more information on recent workforce bills that have been signed into law visit: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/09/17/governor-newsom-signs-legislation-to-protect-californias-workforce-amid-the-covid-19-pandemic/