Less than 24 hours after the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) new mask mandate went into effect, the CDPH updated its guidance to clarify the application of the mandate. Previously, the mandate by the CDPH referenced “indoor public settings” without further definition. In the updated guidance, the CDPH clarifies that “the guidance applies to all workplaces, regardless of whether they serve the public, or are open to the public.  Masks may be removed, per the exemption noted below, if the workplace consists of a single employee, or may be removed while an employee is alone in a closed office or room.”

Cal/OSHA also updated its FAQ for the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to state that the ETS requires that employers “provide face coverings and ensure they are worn by employees when required by orders of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). (8 CCR § 3205(c)(6)(B).) The December 13, 2021 CDPH guidance is such an order.”

Employers should continue to monitor local health departments, the California Department of Public Health, and Cal/OSHA for changes to COVID-19 workplace requirements. Employers can check Jackson Lewis’ COVID-19 Advisor for updates on workplace requirements in California and around the country.

If you have questions about COVID-19 workplace requirements or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.