Less than a week after adopting a controversial proposal that would have required vaccinated employees to wear masks any time they were in a room with an unvaccinated person, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to withdraw the proposal. The Board plans to consider a new proposal at its next regular meeting on June 17. This proposal is to be prepared by CAL-OSHA staff in conjunction with the California Department of Public Health and will likely be more in line with that Department’s just-release updated face covering guidance. The new CDPH guidance substantially reduces the occasions when vaccinated individuals are required to wear masks outside of work settings.

If a new rule is adopted on June 17 as anticipated, it will be submitted for review by the Office of Administrative Law and likely will not take effect until June 28. In the meantime, the Emergency Temporary Standard adopted in November 2020 will continue in force. This means that while many rules in the State will loosen effective June 15, workplace rules subject to CAL-OSHA authority will remain unchanged until at least the end of June.