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Employee Notice Laws for COVID-19 Take Effect in 2021 in California


With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to threaten the lives of Californians and those across the United States, it makes sense that the state would pass laws imposing new requirements on employers to help keep employees safe and protect their rights. An experienced California employment attorney is ready to help. One law that goes into effect on January 1, 2021, gives California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) greater authority to order certain workplaces closed due to an unacceptable threat level. The following are additional aspects of the law involving notice to employees.

  • Employers must provide written notice of possible COVID-19 exposure to both employees and subcontracted employees who were at a particular workplace with someone who was in an infectious period.
  • Employers must provide the notice in a way that is commonly used for employee communications. This might be email, text messaging, or personally delivering a letter, as long as the employee receives it within one business day.
  • The notice must be in English as well as a language that a majority of employees understand.
  • All employees must receive notice of the employer’s plans for increased safety and disinfection to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • Employers must notify exposed employees of their benefits and rights under local, state, and federal laws relating to COVID-19. Some may include COVID-19-related sick leave under the law, sick leave under company policies, workers’ compensation benefits, and rights against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Notices should be retained by employers for at least three years.

Speak with an Employment Lawyer in California Today

Employees should know their rights to notice regarding COVID-19 exposure and related benefits as we approach 2021. An experienced California employment attorney from Ratner & Molineaux, LLP, is ready to help employees protect their rights. Contact us online or call (925) 332-1444 for more information and to discuss your concerns.

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