Chamber Joins Coalition Seeking Modifications to CalOSHA’s Emergency COVID Rules

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber partnered with the California Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to submit a letter to provide comment upon, and underline the need for clarification of, the proposed re-adoption of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (Section 3205, or “ETS”), and its differences from the existing provisions of the ETS (the “Amended ETS”).1 Many of us, including the California Chamber of Commerce, have provided repeated comments regarding the ETS, including participating in Cal/OSHA’s advisory committee meetings held in February of 2021 related to the drafting of the Amended ETS (“February Advisory Committee”). We were pleased to see the delay in approving these proposed regulations in order to address recent CDC guidance that basically eliminates the need for vaccinated individuals to continue using masks in most settings. In addition, we were hoping the proposed text would mirror the Governor’s announcement that the state would be following the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance starting June 15th.

Unfortunately, the proposed regulations do not conform to the most recent CDC guidance, and will create an inconsistent standard in the workplace as compared to the rest of the State. Starting June 15th, vaccinated individuals will be able to go to most indoor and outdoor public settings without having to wear masks, even if other unvaccinated individuals are present. But vaccinated employees at that same location will have to wear a mask. This inconsistent standard is not justified by best practices or science and should not be approved. Our concerns are summarized below, and in greater detail in the following letter.

The letter discussed above can be found here