I Want to be Safer and Healthier at Work During the COVID‑19 Pandemic What are my rights to be safer and healthier at work?

All workers in California, regardless of immigration status, have the right to:

  • Protection from safety and health hazards, including COVID-19
  • Report an unsafe workplace
  • Refuse to work in unsafe conditions

It is illegal for your employer to reduce your hours, fire you or retaliate against you for exercising your labor rights.

Employers are required to protect workers from unsafe or unhealthy workplace conditions, such as exposure to COVID-19. This requires employers to do a number of things, including:

  • Adjust work processes or procedures to help prevent exposure to COVID-19,
  • Develop a written COVID-19 Prevention Program,
  • Provide effective training to all workers, and more.
  • For face coverings, employers must:
    • Provide and ensure the use of face coverings by all individuals working in specified high-risk settings and by all employees when face coverings are required by the California Department of Public Health or the local health department.
    • Provide face coverings to employees, 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.

Under the law, workers have the right to file a complaint about workplace safety and health hazards and employers cannot retaliate or punish them for doing so.

Read a factsheet about revisions to Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 Prevention emergency temporary standards.

May 2022