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

Employers must provide and ensure the proper use of face coverings in the workplace under certain conditions.

  • Employees are not required to wear face coverings when outdoors regardless of vaccination status except for certain employees during outbreaks.
  • Fully vaccinated employees working indoors or in vehicles do not need to wear face coverings except for certain situations during outbreaks and in settings where CDPH requires all persons to wear face coverings. Employers must document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated employees if they do not wear face coverings indoors.
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated may request respirators such as N95 masks for voluntary use from their employers at no cost and without fear of retaliation from their employers.
  • It is illegal for employers to retaliate against any worker for using a face covering.
  • Employees required to wear face coverings, such as unvaccinated employees working indoors or in a vehicle, are permitted to not wear a face covering in certain conditions.
    • When an employee is alone in a room or vehicle.
    • While eating or drinking at the workplace, provided employees are at least six feet apart and outside air supply to the area, if indoors, has been maximized to the extent feasible.
    • Employees wearing respirators required by the employer and used in compliance in accordance with section 5144 or other title 8 safety orders.
    • Employees who cannot wear face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or disability, or who are hearing-impaired or communicating with a hearing-impaired person.
    • While doing specific tasks which cannot feasibly be performed with a face covering. This exception is limited to the time period in which such tasks are actually being performed.

Employers must provide and ensure the proper use of face coverings in the workplace under certain conditions.

  • When an employee requests a face covering, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • Employees are not required to wear face coverings when outdoors regardless of vaccination status except for certain employees during outbreaks.
  • Fully vaccinated employees working indoors do not need to wear face coverings except for certain situations during outbreaks and in settings where CDPH requires all persons to wear face coverings.
  • Employees required to wear face coverings may not do so under certain conditions.
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated may request respirators such as N95 masks for voluntary use from their employers at no cost and without fear of retaliation from their employers.
  • It is illegal for employers to retaliate against any worker for using a face covering.

Employers must record the vaccination status for any employee not wearing a face covering indoors and this record must be kept confidential. Cal/OSHA's regulations do not specify exactly how the vaccination status must be recorded. Acceptable options include:

  • Employees provide proof of vaccination (vaccine card, image of vaccine card or health care document showing vaccination status) and employer maintains a copy.
  • Employees provide proof of vaccination. The employer maintains a record of the employees who presented proof, but not the vaccine record itself.
  • Employees self-attest to vaccination status and employer maintains a record of who self-attests.
  • Employers can require all employees wear a face covering instead of having a documentation process.

Employers are required to evaluate the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to COVID-19. What 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

All types of PPE must be:

  • Selected based upon 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 not fully vaccinated 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 and limitations.

Your employer must provide the time and supplies needed to properly clean the workplace. The commonly touched surfaces in your workplace should be more frequently cleaned with products that are EPA-approved for use against COVID-19. Your employer should ensure you follow the product instructions and use any protective equipment that is required.

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

June 2021