Wednesday evening, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s (“Board”) voted unanimously to pull back the revised Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) from the approval process at the Office of Administrative Law. That means that the original ETS remains in place for now, and there will be no revisions taking effect by June 15th. It also gives the Board the opportunity to revise those amendments.

Per our E-Article of June 8, if approved, the revised ETS would have allowed workers to forego wearing masks only if every employee in a room was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, among other rules. That rule contrasts with the state’s broader plan to do away with virtually all masking requirements for vaccinated people in concert with the latest recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The contradictory standards sparked an outcry from business leaders who thought the proposal for mask requirements was out of sync with the standards issued by the Department of Public Health. As a result of the pressure from business leaders and the Governor’s Office, the Board withdrew the pending regulations late Wednesday.

The Board will consider further changes to the regulations at its June 17 meeting and potentially have them go into effect by June 28, once the regulations are reviewed by the state Office of Administrative Law.  The safety Board’s staff was not specific on what changes it will recommend next week, other than it will try to more closely conform the workplace rules with public health guidelines.

As we wait for the revised standards to be announced, vaccinated workers will still need to mask up at the workplace at least until June 28, when the new proposal is expected to go into effect.

We will continue to keep you posted with any key updates as they become available.

Written By: Kristina Kourasis, Esq. Landegger Verano & Davis ALC