3 Step Approach to COVID Notice Requirements 

Under the new law, AB 685 if an employer receives notice of a “potential exposure to COVID-19” the employer must provide various notices.  There is a three-step process for doing so. 

Step One – Within one business day, an employer must provide notice to employees, employers of subcontracted employees, and representatives of them that includes all of the following.  

  • The notice must be given to all of those who were on the premises at the same “worksite” as the “qualifying individual” within the infectious period. 
  • the Notice must comply with Cal OSHA Form 300 Injury & Illness Log
  • Notice to any employees who may have been exposed and any exclusive representative about COVID 19 related benefits under all laws including COVID 19 related leave, employer sick leave, and workers’ compensation or negotiated leave provisions, and protections against retaliation/discrimination 
  • the Notice must include the employer’s disinfection and safety plan 

STEP TWO – within 48 hours employers must

  • Provide written notice to the local public health agency if the number of cases is defined as an “outbreak – in non-healthcare or non-residential setting 3 or more confirmed cases within a 2 week period (DLSE’s FAQ)

STEP THREE – there is an ongoing requirement for the employer to keep records.  Employers “must” maintain records of the written notifications to employees for 3 years 

NOTE – Cal/OSHA can prohibit usage of or entry into an area posing an imminent risk to employees (aka Order Prohibiting Usage/Stop Work Order).  It will be “limited to the immediate area in which the imminent hazard exists” and won’t preclude the employer from entering the area

For further information, look at the underlying COVID orders – check www.dir.ca.gov/OSHSB/documents/noticeNov2020-covid-19-prevention-emergency.pof

Model prevention program www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/covid19faqs.html