CalOSHA and AB-685

COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) - Fact Sheets, Model Written Program and Other Resources


What are the important changes in the June 17 revised ETS? 

  • Fully vaccinated employees without symptoms do not need to be tested or quarantined after close contacts with COVID-19 cases unless they have symptoms.
  • No face covering requirements outdoors (except during outbreaks), regardless of vaccination status, though workers must be trained on CDPH recommendations for outdoor use of face coverings.
  • Employers may allow fully vaccinated employees not to wear face coverings indoors, but must document their vaccination status. There are some settings where CDPH requires face coverings regardless of vaccination status. In outbreaks, all employees must wear face coverings indoors and outdoors when six-feet physical distancing cannot be maintained, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with approved  respirators for voluntary use when working indoors or in a vehicle with others, upon request.
  • Employers may not retaliate against employees for wearing face coverings.
  • No physical distancing or barrier requirements regardless of employee vaccination status with the following exceptions:
    • Employers must evaluate whether it is necessary to implement physical distancing and barriers during an outbreak (3 or more cases in an exposed group of employees)
    • Employers must implement physical distancing and barriers during a major outbreak (20 or more cases in an exposed group of employees)
  • No physical distancing requirements whatsoever in the employer-provided housing and transportation regulations.
  • Where all employees are vaccinated in employer-provided housing and transportation, employers are exempt from those regulations 
  • Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtrations efficiency, and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems

What are the requirements of Assembly Bill AB 685?

Employers are required to notify all employees of:

  • Potential exposures workers could encounter
  • COVID-19 related benefits
  • Precautions being made for COVID-19 (disinfections and safety measures)

Employers must inform employees by written notice of all COVID-19 cases at the same worksite within 24 hours. 

Employees must notify the Health Department of any work place outbreaks.  An outbreak is three or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases in a two weeks. 

Outbreaks can be reported on the form located below. The form will need to be faxed to: (530)934-6463

What is the Potential Impact of Assembly Bill AB 685?

Cal/OSHA can close part or all of a business if it is deemed an imminent hazard to employees.

Cal/OSHA can give citations/fees for serious violations related to COVID-19 without warning.

Assembly Bill AB 685 is effective Jan 1, 2021 to Jan 1, 2023

Additional information and references can be found below:

AB 685 COVID-19 Workplace Outbreak Reporting Requirements: (Dec. 10. 2020)

Additional resources for employers: