As we have reported on in our past Compliance Matters [link] California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board passed emergency COVID-19 regulations at the end of 2020 with wide-ranging and onerous requirements on employers that go beyond those imposed by existing federal, state, and local statutes, ordinances and orders. In response, there have been many legal challenges to these rules.
Recently, a coalition of several industry groups asked the San Francisco Superior Court for an injunction to prevent enforcement of these rules while the challenges to the rules were ongoing. The groups challenged the emergency rules on multiple grounds, including the use of a fast-track emergency rule process rather than the regular rulemaking process and the argument that Cal/OSHA had exceeded its authority by regulating wage-and-hour issues. However, the Superior Court just rejected the request for an injunction, finding it unlikely that employers would ultimately win their challenges against these rules, and explaining that the severity of the COVID-19 crisis justified the emergency process.
The significance of this decision is that Cal/OSHA can continue to enforce its emergency COVID-19 regulations, which, for the moment at least, are very much still in effect.
We will continue to monitor major COVID-19 related developments that impact the workplace. If you need assistance in navigating the Cal-OSHA guidelines, please call your firm contact at 818-508-3700 or visit us online at www.brgslaw.com.
Richard S. Rosenberg
Stephanie B. Kantor
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP