Can I require an employee who previously tested positive for COVID-19 to submit a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to work?

No. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health's (Cal/OSHA’s) new COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard contains specific return-to-work criteria.

For symptomatic COVID-19 cases, the employee can't return to work until at least 24 hours have passed since a fever resolved, symptoms have improved and at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

For asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, the employee can't return to work until a minimum of 10 days have passed since the their first positive COVID-19 test.

The emergency temporary standard specifies that once a COVID-19 case satisfies the return-to-work criteria, employers cannot require a negative COVID-19 test for an employee to return to work.

For more information on Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 emergency standard, review the following guidance:

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