As I described last month, there are specific health and safety guidelines for companies who are planning to bring their employees back into the office. In this article I provide you with some updates to the Santa Clara County and Cal OSHA guidelines. If you operate your business (or have employees who work) outside of Santa Clara County, please be sure to check your local County Health Department guidelines.
Per the Santa Clara County Public Health Order I wrote about in an article last month, employers must ascertain the vaccination status of all personnel. This includes employees, contractors, volunteers, and anyone who regularly works at worksites in the County. The County provides a self-certification form for this purpose. What has changed since that order is that businesses are no longer required to follow up every 14 days with personnel to determine their status. Click here for the full text of the updated order.
Cal OSHA also requires that employers document the vaccination status of employees but does not specify a method for doing so. Per their updated order:
The employer must record the vaccination status for any employee not wearing a face covering indoors and this record must be kept confidential. Acceptable options include:
- Employees provide proof of vaccination (vaccine card, image of vaccine card or health care document showing vaccination status) and employer maintains a copy.
- Employees provide proof of vaccination. The employer maintains a record of the employees who presented proof, but not the vaccine record itself.
- Employees self-attest to vaccination status and employer maintains a record of who self-attests.
Per State, Cal OSHA ETS and County ordinances employees who are unvaccinated or decline to state whether they are vaccinated must follow these guidelines:
- Wear a mask when entering the workplace and in common areas such as the breakroom, restroom, or conference rooms. They do not need to wear a mask when meeting outdoors, while eating, while working alone in an office, or while sitting alone in their vehicle.
- Although face masks are not required outdoors, they are recommended for unvaccinated persons outdoors when six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Masks must be double layered. Face shields, neck gators and valve masks are not permitted.
Disclaimer: Because information and guidelines continue to evolve, it’s essential for leaders to keep an eye out for the latest guidelines from the state, CalOSHA, and the city and county where you have personnel performing work, as defined above.
Also, if you have questions about your particular situation, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from your legal counsel.
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help creating a return-to-work plan.