Monday July 15th 2024

California Expands Employers' Notice and Reporting Obligations

November 25, 2020

On September 17, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 685 into law, expanding California employers’ notice and reporting obligations relating to COVID-19 in the workplace. In particular, under the newly enacted California Labor Code Section 6409.6, the requirement to notify employees of a potential exposure goes beyond guidance and becomes mandatory.  Specifically, the new notice requires employers to take the below actions within one business day of a “potential exposure” based on a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in the workplace.

The law also made changes to Cal-OSHA’s enforcement of COVID-19-related rules and regulations.  AB 685 provides that Cal-OSHA can now shut down operations when, in the opinion of Cal-OSHA, a worksite or operation “exposes workers to the risk of infection” of COVID-19, so as to constitute an imminent hazard.  AB 685 also modifies the process for when Cal-OSHA intends to issue a serious citation.

The law takes effect on January 1, 2021, and will remain in place until January 1, 2023.  For further information or consultation, contact: Allan P. Bareng at

The full text of AB 685 can be found here:






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