Cal/OSHA’s Revised ETS & July Local Minimum Wage Increases

Employers have been awaiting updated guidance from Cal/OSHA to take into account employees who are fully vaccinated. Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order to adopt these rules for workplaces effective immediately, to correspond with “Reopening California” eff. June 15th.  Learn more specifics at:

In addition, beginning July 1, several localities across the state will adopt a new minimum wage for hourly workers.  Those details follow further below.

Let us know how we may help clarify these changes for your business.

Cal/OSHA Revisions to Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for Workplaces:

  • Fully-vaccinated employees without symptoms do not need to be tested or quarantined after close contacts with COVID-19 cases unless they have symptoms.
  • No face covering requirements outdoors (except during outbreaks), regardless of vaccination status, though workers should be trained on CDPH recommendations for outdoor use of face coverings.
  • Employers may allow fully vaccinated employees not to wear face coverings indoors, but must document their vaccination status.  (Required documentation of vaccination status includes employee self-attestation.)
  • During an outbreak, all employees must wear face coverings indoors and outdoors when six-feet physical distancing cannot be maintained, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with approved respirators (e.g. N95 mask) for voluntary use when working indoors or in a vehicle with others, upon request.
  • No physical distancing or barrier requirements regardless of employee vaccination status with the exceptions during outbreaks.
  • Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtrations efficiency, and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems.
  • Employers may not retaliate against employees from wearing face coverings.

In addition, the state lifted its travel advisory effective June 15th.  There is now no state recommendation to test and quarantine before and after travel.

Local Minimum Wage Increases

Many California localities have passed their own minimum wage ordinances, and several of those will increase July 1, 2021. Employers based in these localities or that have employees working in any of these jurisdictions should review their hourly wage rates and make any necessary adjustments by July 1 to ensure compliance. 
The localities with increases effective July 1 are:

  • Berkeley: $16.32/hour.
  • Emeryville: $17.13/hour.
  • Fremont: $15.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $15/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Los Angeles City: $15/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Los Angeles County (unincorporated areas): $15/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Malibu: $15/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Milpitas: $15.65/hour.
  • Pasadena: $15/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • San Francisco: $16.32/hour.
  • Santa Monica: $15/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.

The minimum wage rates for both the city and county of Los Angeles, Malibu, Pasadena and Santa Monica will remain at $15 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, with a future increase effective July 1, 2022. In addition, the city of Alameda will remain at its current $15/hour rate with a future increase on July 1, 2022.

Important to note is that many of these local ordinances contain notice requirements for employers to post and comply.