Late last week, Gov. Newsom signed AB 685 into law which, among other things, adds section 6409.6 (“Section 6409.6”) to the Labor Code.  The new statute, which takes effect January 1, 2021, requires that employers notify employees and, in some instances, public health officials about COVID-19 exposures at work.

Specifically, Section 6409.6 requires that employers take all of the following steps within one business day of notice of a potential exposure in the workplace:

  • Provide written notice to all employees (and employers of subcontracted employees), who were on the premises at the same “worksite” as the infected or potentially infected individual that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Provide a written notice of the exposure or potential exposure to any union, if any.
  • Provide all potentially exposed employees and any union, if any, with information regarding COVID-19-related benefits, as well as the anti-retaliation and anti-discrimination protections under California  law.
  • Notify all employees, and the employers of subcontracted employees and the exclusive representative, if any, on the disinfection and safety plan that the employer plans to implement and complete, per CDC guidelines.

Section 6409.6 also requires that, when an employer is notified of the number of cases that meet the State Department of Public Health’s definition of a COVID-19 outbreak, within 48 hours, the employer must notify the local public health agency of the names, number, occupation, and worksite of each employee with COVID-19.

Section 6409.6 establishes penalties for non-compliance.  Therefore, employers should review their COVID-19 infection control and notification procedures—and keep them updated—so that they are ready to comply on January 1st.

Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination…

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Photo of Philippe A. Lebel Philippe A. Lebel

Philippe (Phil) A. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, trade secrets, and breach of contract litigation, in both the single-plaintiff and class-action context, at both the trial and appellate level…

Philippe (Phil) A. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, trade secrets, and breach of contract litigation, in both the single-plaintiff and class-action context, at both the trial and appellate level, and before administrative agencies. Phil also represents employers in connection with labor law matters, such as labor arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. Additionally, Phil counsels clients to ensure compliance with federal and state labor and employment laws and assists a variety of companies and financial firms in evaluating labor and employment issues in connection with corporate transactions. Phil also has experience assisting employers with sensitive employee investigations.

Phil has assisted clients with labor and/or employment issues in a wide array of sectors including in the entertainment, financial services, fitness, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, insurance, education, media, high-tech, biotech, manufacturing, transportation, professional services, and staffing industries, among others.

Phil regularly speaks on emerging issues for employers and has been published or quoted in Law360, the Daily JournalBusiness Insurance, and SHRM.org regarding a variety of labor and employment law topics.

During college, Phil worked on political campaigns in Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama, and was an intern with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. Phil is a former member of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.

Photo of Kristina L. Sidrak Kristina L. Sidrak

Kristina Sidrak is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.