Are we required to notify our employees if we learn an employee tested positive for COVID-19?

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, employers must follow the notification and reporting requirements detailed in AB 685, which went into effect January 1, 2021, as well as California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) notification and reporting requirements specified in the agency’s COVID-19 emergency temporary standard, effective November 30, 2020. The largely overlapping requirements direct employers to notify employees within one business day of potential COVID-19 exposures in the workplace and to notify their local health departments of “outbreaks” in the workplace within 48 hours.

The notification and reporting laws are highly detailed. Employers should become familiar with the requirements and update their procedures as necessary. Read more about these requirements in COVID-19 Workplace Rules Take Center Stage and the HRWatchdog Blog.

Employers should also review the following guidance from the California Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA:

Visit the CalChamber Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage for more COVID-19-related federal, state and local resources, including CalChamber coverage.

Q&As