Resources regarding COVID-19 legislation that takes effect January 1, 2021

Dear Valued Business Partner:

As we continue navigating COVID-19 and safety in the workplace, we want to be sure you are aware of recently passed California Assembly Bill 685. This legislation, which takes effect on January 1, 2021, strengthens CAL/OSHA enforcement of infection prevention controls and requires timely notifications regarding any COVID-19 cases in the workplace.

Here are key things businesses need to know:

  • California employers are already required to establish and maintain controls to limit employee exposure to COVID-19. This new regulation allows Cal/OSHA to shut down any part of an employer’s operations if the lack of controls presents an immediate serious hazard for employees. In addition, unlike a typical enforcement action, advance notice and a waiting period are not required.

  • The regulation requires timely (one day) notifications to employees who may have been exposed. This notification must include information on COVID-19 related benefits that may be available to an exposed employee as well as the employer’s plan for cleaning, disinfection, and safety to help prevent future exposure. There are required notifications to the local Health Department.

Each industry faces unique challenges in establishing adequate controls. To help employers with these challenges, the state of California has developed industry specific guidance and other helpful resources:

In addition, these FAQ’s from Cal/OSHA will also help explain the changes created by this new legislation.

You’ll find this and other helpful information in our COVID Resource Center on If you have any questions, please contact us at

We value your business and appreciate your ongoing dedication to safety during these challenging times.


Woody Hill
Vice President, Enterprise Loss Control