On January 5, 2022, the Los Angeles County Dept of Public Health issued updated guidance (effective January 6, 2022) which provides:

  • Requires all employers to provide face masks to all employees “who work indoors and in close contact with other workers or the public.”
  • Requires all employers to provide employees “with and require them to wear a well-fitting medical grade mask, surgical mask, or higher-level respirator, such as an N95 filtering face piece respirator or KN95, at all times while indoors at the worksite or facility.”

While cloth masks were previously acceptable, they are no longer acceptable.Employers must provide these masks to employees “as soon as possible, but no later than January 17, 2022.”Employers will need to obtain a supply of the compliant medical grade masks to provide to all employees working indoors and in close contact with other employees, clients, or members of the public.

The LADPH Fact Sheet can be found here.


On January 5, 2022, the CDPH updated its guidance to provide that masks are required in certain circumstances, regardless of vaccination status as follows:
  • Masks are not required outdoors (except during outbreaks), regardless of vaccination status. Workers should be trained for outdoor use of face coverings.
  • Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with NIOSH-certified respirator masks for voluntary use when:
  • Working indoors, or
  • In a vehicle with others.

This mask requirement applies to all workplaces, regardless of whether or not they serve the public, or are open to the public.
As of now, the above rules are in effect until at least February 15, 2022, but this of course could change at any time.



Employers are reminded that under California law, if an employee had a workplace COVID-19 exposure, and must isolate and is unable to telework, the employer is required to provide “exclusion” pay under the Cal-OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).
Below are some excerpts from the FAQ’s on Exclusion Pay & Benefits:

1Q: If an employee is excluded from work because of workplace exposure under the ETS, is the employee eligible for exclusion pay?

A: Yes. An employee who was excluded from work because of a workplace COVID-19 exposure should receive exclusion pay if:

  1. The employee was not assigned to telework during that time; and
  2. The employee did not receive Disability Payments or Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability Payments during the exclusion period.

3Q: Can employers require employees who are excluded due to workplace exposure to take paid sick leave under the ETS?

A: An employer cannot require the employee to use the standard paid sick leave mandated under Labor Code section 246, even when there has been a workplace exposure and the employer is required to exclude employees under the ETS.

4Q: How long does an employee with COVID-19 exposure, or who tests positive for COVID- 19 from the workplace, receive pay while excluded from the workplace?

A: An employee would typically receive pay for the period the employee is excluded, which could be 10 or more days. If an employee is out of work for more than a standard exclusion period based on a single exposure or positive test, but still does not meet the regulation’s requirements to return to work, the employee may be entitled to other benefits, such as Temporary Disability.

9Q: How is exclusion pay calculated for employees excluded from the workplace due to exposure to COVID-19 at work?

A: The rate of pay for exclusion pay is an employee’s regular rate of pay for the pay period in which the employee is excluded. These employees are entitled to exclusion pay, depending on the length of the required exclusion period and how many days they were scheduled to work during that exclusion period. Employees must be paid no later than the regular payday for the pay period(s) in which the employee is excluded.

The complete list of FAQ’s can be found here.

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