Top 3 Employer Duties Right Now Regarding Covid Compliance

Is a rollercoaster ride the only way to describe what California Employers have gone through over this past year? If you feel like you’ve been on a rollercoaster for the past year or so, you are definitely not alone! On top of staffing challenges, closures, and learning almost all of our work can be accomplished remotely (even though just a couple years ago it was basically considered a cardinal sin to request to work from home), keeping up with Covid regulations for our clients, guests, AND employees has proved challenging (to put it mildly.

Here are the Top 3 Employer Duties Right Now Regarding Covid Compliance

Have A Written Model COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP) In Place

Cal Osha, the State Agency that regulates Safety in the Workplace has required Employers to have a Model COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP) in writing to ensure compliance with the Covid Emergency Temporary Standards. This program can be incorporated into your Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). *SPOILER if you don’t have an IIPP training program in writing and currently in practice, you must have one!

Give Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable Accommodations are nothing new. But, in regards to Covid Compliance and Vaccine mandates, they are, and Employers must know how to engage in this process (it’s a process!), otherwise they risk wrongful termination lawsuits, penalties, and fines. Some Counties have required vaccines for certain industries but give 2 “opt out” reasons for Religious reasons or Medical Exemptions. Both of these reasons are considered reasonable accomodations. It’s not enough for Employers to simply approve or deny these. Instead, they must engage in the interactive process to understand how to accomodate, document the requests, and ensure they offer employees all of the rights they are entitled to. Another spoiler* Not following the interactive process is among the top 5 reasons Employers get sued.

Keep up AND Comply with the Latest Regulations

Even though the laws and regulations are changing often, Employers are responsable to know the updates to the laws AND comply consistently. This can feel like another full time job on top of your already full time job. But it’s not an option and so you must prioritize compliance and consistent application if you hope to protect your business from future lawsuits, penalties and fines.

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*As always, information is not legal advice and is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon. Readers should consult a lawyer for current up to date standards. Intended for CA audiences only. No Attorney Client relationship is formed by the viewing or interaction of this information.