COVID workplace rules can be confusing: a guide for employers

by Sonya Goodwin

With the Omicron variant moving through California workplaces at an alarming rate, employers have been scrambling to keep fully staffed without running afoul of workplace safety regulations. But there are so many rules in place right now that it’s almost impossible for companies to keep track of their legal obligations.

There are federal laws, state rules, and in many cases local rules, all targeted at managing a COVID-exposed workforce. When the U.S. Supreme Court shot down the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency temporary standard last month (National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. OSHA et al. (, 2022 DJDAR 529 (Jan. 13, 2022)), many California employers may have believed themselves free of vaccine, testing and mask mandates. Not so.

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