CHA News

Changes in Quarantine Guidance Affect Labor and Employment Law

For CEOs, human resources executives

This post has been archived and contains information that may be out of date.

Recent changes to federal and state quarantine recommendations have labor and employment law implications, touching on both Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and subsequent guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to local public health officers revised on Dec. 14, the Governor issued an Executive Order on Dec. 15 modifying the quarantine requirement in Cal/OSHA’s ETS addressing COVID-19 in the workplace. While the ETS does not apply to employees covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Disease (ATD) Standard, it does apply to some health system employees (see recent CHA News article).

The Executive Order modified ETS sections 3205(c)(10) and (c)(11) to suspend the periods set forth in those sections and instead adopts any applicable quarantine or isolation period recommended by CDPH, including in its Dec. 14 COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance; or any applicable quarantine or isolation period recommended or ordered by a local health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace. For employees covered by the ATD Standard, this updated guidance would appear to allow for adoption of these shorter quarantine periods.

These shorter quarantine periods may also have implications for employees using COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave, as that leave is available for situations where the employee is advised to quarantine by a health care provider or directed not to report to work by the employer.