I Want to be Safer and Healthier at Work During the COVID‑19 Pandemic What should my employer provide to prevent the spread?

COVID-19 Prevention Program

Employers must maintain an effective COVID-19 Prevention Program and provide workers a copy upon request.

Workers must be involved when employers are identifying hazards and detailing the corrective measures in the program.

  • For face coverings, employers must:
    • Provide and ensure the use of face coverings by employees when face coverings are required by the California Department of Public Health.
    • Provide face coverings to any employee who tested positive for COVID-19 and ensure use for 10 days after their first positive test (if no symptoms) or their first day of symptoms (if already recovered and are returning to work), whichever is applicable.
    • Provide employees a face covering, upon their request, at no cost, even when they are not required.
    • Provide employees with a respirator, upon their request, at no cost, for voluntary use.
    • Follow the CDPH requirement that businesses and venue operators, including K-12 school and childcare settings, allow any individual to wear a face covering if they prefer.
    • It is illegal for employers to retaliate against any worker for using face coverings.

Employers are required to evaluate the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to COVID-19. The PPE your employer must provide will depend on your risk of exposure.

Your employer should have a written plan on preventing workplace safety and health hazards that includes training on any personal protective equipment.

Examples of PPE include:

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shields
  • Respirators

All types of PPE must be:

  • Selected based on the hazard to the worker.
  • Properly worn when required.
  • Regularly inspected, maintained and replaced, as necessary.
  • Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment.

Employees must be informed of the employer’s policies for providing N95 respirators and the right for employees to request them for voluntary use without fear of retaliation and at no cost to employees. Employees voluntarily using N95 respirators must be trained on proper use, limitations, and how to perform a seal check every time they put one on.

Your employer must provide adequate handwashing facilities and the time for you to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. When washing your hands, scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds. They must also provide hand sanitizer, which may be used if you do not have immediate access to a sink. However, hand sanitizer is not effective if your hands are soiled. Do not use hand sanitizer containing methyl alcohol.

Take an online workplace health and safety training on COVID-19 infection prevention.

February 2024