Cal/OSHA Board Votes to End Face Mask Requirements for Vaccinated Employees

On June 17, Cal/OSHA has voted on the proposed changes to the Emergency Temporary Standards which have been in effect since late 2020. Governor Newsom has made an executive order to bypass the usual 10-day legal review of the Cal/OSHA vote, and permit the new regulations to take effect when they are filed with the Secretary of State. Below are the guidelines as passed:
  • Employers may allow vaccinated employees to work without face coverings indoors, but they must document workers’ vaccination status. That documentation process allows workers to either show written proof of vaccination, such as a CDC vaccine card, or to “self-attest” that they are vaccinated without providing documentation.
  • Workers can decline to state if they are vaccinated or not. However, they will be treated as if they are unvaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated workers must wear masks indoors, unless alone in a room or vehicle. Employers must make approved respirators, such as an N95 mask, available for unvaccinated workers if they request them.
  • No face coverings are required outdoors unless there is an outbreak.
  • If there is a COVID outbreak, masks will be mandated for all workers indoors, and outdoors if six-foot physical distancing can’t be maintained.
  • No physical distancing or barriers between workers are required, regardless of employees’ vaccination status, although employers can re-evaluate the need if an outbreak occurs. Distancing and barriers will be mandated if a “major outbreak” of 20 or more cases occurs.
  • Fully vaccinated workers with no COVID symptoms do not need to be tested or quarantined after they are exposed to the virus.
  • Employees cannot face retaliation for wearing a mask, even if they are not required to do so.
Of note, employers will need to document who is vaccinated in their workplaces, but they are not required to retain copies of vaccination cards. Instead, they can allow employees to self-attest to full inoculation. Cal/OSHA’s guidelines require approved face coverings, such as N95 masks, to be given to unvaccinated workers who request them rather than have them physically distanced. Regulators added that businesses can choose to be more strict when it comes to masking. If you wish to become a client of Guardian HR and get access to all our resources including your own dedicated consultant and our team of employment attorneys, please contact us at or call us at 888-373-4724.