As we previously reported (here), on June 3, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“OSHSB”) approved some controversial revisions to its Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) related to COVID-19. Among other highly-contested provisions, the updated ETS would have required even fully-vaccinated individuals to don masks indoors unless everyone in a room was fully-vaccinated. However, before the much-maligned revised ETS could take effect, the OSHSB did an immediate about-face.
On June 9, 2021, the OSHSB convened a special meeting to consider how the new ETS aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health. At the meeting, which lasted several hours, dozens of representatives from the business community and public at large assailed the updated ETS for being out-of-touch with federal and state public health guidance. Ultimately, the OSHSB was persuaded and voted unanimously to withdraw the revised ETS before they even went into effect.
Instead, the OSHSB will consider further revisions to the ETS, which some members of the OSHSB have indicated will more closely align with new guidelines from the California Department of Public Health (effective June 15th), which no longer require fully-vaccinated individuals to wear masks in most settings.
The OSHSB could take up this issue again as early as its next meeting, on June 17, 2021. Stay tuned for more updates.