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Occupational Health Watch: December 2020

​How AB 685 Impacts California Employers and Workers

Imagine these scenarios:
An employer learns one of her workers has COVID-19. She’s not sure what to tell other workers about this, if anything. She also wonders if she should notify the health department.
At another worksite, workers find out there have been several people out sick with COVID-19 in the last two weeks. They wonder what their employer is required to do about this.

These are common areas of confusion for employers and workers alike. Fortunately, a new California law called AB 685 provides clarity.

A full picture of AB 685 requires a dive into definitions and details from our guidance documents and from Cal/OSHA’s requirements, among other resources, but here are 3 highlights:

  1. Upon identifying a COVID-19 case in the workplace, employers must provide workers with notice of their potential exposure. They also need to inform them about benefits and a disinfection plan.

  2. If there's an outbreak, employers need to report it to the local health department.

  3. In January, CDPH will begin posting reported workplace outbreaks by industry on its website.

​NEWS FLASH!! In addition to AB 685, new Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards for COVID-19  became effective November 30, 2020.

Worker with protective hooded gown, face covering, apron, and gloves

Employers must notify workers if they were potentially exposed to COVID-19.


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