Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Cal-OSHA Wins First Round in Major Court Challenge to its COVID-19 Emergency Regulation 

February, 2021 - Steven G Churchwell

Cal-OSHA’s COVID-19 regulation remains in effect after the trial court rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by a coalition of employers. This included challenges to: (1) compensation for employees excluded from work; (2) mandated testing; and (3) health and safety requirements for employer-provided housing and transportation.

Therefore, employers must continue to abide by the requirements of the emergency regulation.

In its 39-page ruling, the court noted that the regulation’s continuing compensation requirement applies only to employees who are “otherwise able and available to work.” If an employee must be excluded for longer than a 14-day quarantine period, the employer would not be required to keep paying wages and benefits. The court also noted that employers may offset any required payments by amounts employees receive in related benefit payments.

The court also concluded that Cal-OSHA may regulate employer-provided housing and transportation to ensure employee safety and health.

Written comments on the regulation may be submitted to the Cal-OSHA Standards Board as the agency moves to formally adopt the regulation in a 6-month process that results in a "Certificate of Compliance."


Buchalter is committed to helping our clients assess their rights with respect to COVID-19 and stands ready to assist in navigating these uncharted waters.


This communication is not intended to create or constitute, nor does it create or constitute, an attorney-client or any other legal relationship. No statement in this communication constitutes legal advice nor should any communication herein be construed, relied upon, or interpreted as legal advice. This communication is for general information purposes only regarding recent legal developments of interest, and is not a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included herein without seeking appropriate legal advice on the particular facts and circumstances affecting that reader. For more information, visit www.buchalter.com.


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