Cal/OSHA’s Nonemergency COVID-19 Prevention Standard: What Employers Need to Know

Man walking through office environment

In November 2020, when the pandemic was near its most severe point, the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) set forth a package of rules designed to create a uniform standard for COVID-19 prevention and outbreak mitigation in the workplace.

These standards, also referred to as Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), required employers to create a comprehensive written COVID-19 prevention plan.

The original ETS went into effect on November 30, 2020, and remained unchanged until revisions to them — spurred by evolving pandemic circumstances and changing guidance for the general public from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) — was revised on several occasions over the next two years until its final iteration expired on December 31, 2022.

Prior to the ETS’ expiration, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) — the standards-setting agency within Cal/OSHA — adopted a new nonemergency two-year COVID-19 prevention standard that picks up where the ETS left off. The nonemergency standard took effect February 3, 2023, and will remain in effect until February 3, 2025, with recordkeeping requirements through February 3, 2026.

Download CalChamber's free "Cal/OSHA’s Nonemergency COVID-19 Prevention Standard: What Employers Need to Know" white paper to learn more about navigating the latest COVID-19 workplace rules.

Updated January 1, 2024

About CalChamber

As a not-for-profit, CalChamber is a business advocate and expert HR compliance resource for California employers. Our legislative presence at the State Capitol means we know California employment laws inside and out. We monitor, analyze and report changes as they happen, turning our expertise into products and services that help businesses more easily understand and comply with complex laws and regulations.



Free White Paper