We all know how strict the State of California is when it comes to Public Safety & Health guidelines. Here’s their COVID-19 mandate for a business to re-open.

Note: Please ensure this message from the State of California is delivered to the owner, operator or manager who is responsible for workplace safety and health.

As the State of California continues to make necessary adjustments to protect workers and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) want to ensure all employers and workers can safely work to protect against potential exposure to COVID-19 and prevent the spread of this infectious disease.  

A safe workplace is absolutely critical not only to workers and employers, but to avoid having to go back to more expansive stay-at-home orders. It is critical we modify our workplace environments and individual actions to avoid another shutdown.

During these unprecedented and challenging times, we all need to work together. Cal/OSHA, the agency with jurisdiction over workplace safety and health, has teamed up with other state agencies including CDPH to develop guidance for employers to follow. Most recently, CDPH posted updated guidance related to the requirement for cloth face coverings and Cal/OSHA is revising its guidance to reflect this important update. This requirement is necessary to protect workers and the public against the spread of COVID-19. Employers must immediately incorporate CDPH’s Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings into their COVID-19 Workplace Specific Plan and effectively implement the plan.

No workers should be forced to risk their lives to make a living. The State of California is committed to protecting worker health and safety, assisting employers with accomplishing this, and enforcing the law.

The State of California and local governments have a broad range of legal authorities available under state statute to enforce requirements associated with this pandemic. Violation of an order issued under the Emergency Services Act, including orders to follow directives issued by the State Public Health Officer, is a misdemeanor (Gov. Code, § 8665). Such State Public Health Officer directives include the industry re-opening guidance published jointly by CDPH and Cal/OSHA, which provides legally enforceable standards and practices for ensuring a healthy workplace. In addition to the orders requiring compliance with State Public Health Officer directives, violating certain health officer orders is also independently unlawful, and can be enforced by local peace officers (Health & Safety Code, §§ 120155, 120295).

Failing to incorporate and implement the CDPH face coverings guidance into your company’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program may result in regulatory enforcement, possible criminal prosecution, and fines (Labor Code §§ 6306(b), 6401, 6401.7 and 6403; California Code of Regulations, title 8 §§ 3203 and 5141; Governor’s Executive Order N-33-20; Health and Safety Code §§ 120125, 120140, 131080, 120130(c), 120135, 120145, 120175 and 120150; and Government Code §§ 8567 and 8627.)

Thank you for your interest in protecting the workers in our state from injury and illness.

We encourage you to visit our webpage often, as we continue to add and update guidance and resources regularly. Links to Cal/OSHA’s guidance materials are provided below:

Cal/OSHA Guidance and Resources

Guidance and Resources Produced with the Governor’s Office and CDPH