California Set to Keep Workplace Pandemic Rules Through 2022

California workplace regulators are poised to extend mandatory pay for workers affected by the coronavirus through the end of 2022, more than two months after state lawmakers restored similar benefits through September.

The decision expected Thursday again pits management against labor as the seven-member Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board renews revised workplace safety rules that would otherwise expire in early May.

“The proposal is a necessary recognition that the pandemic is ongoing, the future is unclear, and workplaces must remain protected and prepared,” said Stephen Knight, executive director of Worksafe Inc., an Oakland-based worker advocacy group. “Including sick pay and job protections for workers infected on the job and sent home is vital.”

But Rob Moutrie, a policy advocate with the California Chamber of Commerce, said business groups “remain concerned about the cost and confusion of maintaining uncapped exclusion pay as part of the regulation, particularly in light of the Legislature’s recent passage of COVID-19 sick leave legislation.”

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