header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
45°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 5
1938 - Supervisors award construction contract for jail at Wayside Farms in Castaic (later called Pitchess Detention Center). [story]
Wayside


A new state law set to take effect in January requires employers to provide notice of workplace COVID-19 exposure, and Santa Clarita Valley business leaders are urging local businesses to review their health and safety procedures now.

Assembly Bill 685, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 17, does two things: mandates employers provide written notice and instructions to their workers who may have been exposed to the virus at the workplace; and, secondly, expands the power of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health to enforce measures aimed at preventing exposure and spread of the virus.

Enforcement from Cal/OSHA, which offers free safety and health assistance to employers, would include citation procedures and closing down worksites considered “an imminent hazard.” These provisions, which could be repealed, will last through Jan. 1, 2023, according to an analysis of the COVID-19 exposure bill.

With only months until AB 685 takes effect, the SCV Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses to review the new guidance before enforcement commences.

“This law now fast-tracks the timeline for Cal/OSHA to issue citations to employers and expands Cal/OSHA’s authority to prohibit entry to the workplace,” Ivan Volschenk, managing partner at Evolve Business Strategies, which manages the Chamber, said in a statement. “The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021, and we urge businesses to review their procedures of what to do if an employee is exposed before then to be fully prepared. We encourage businesses to reach out to the SCV Chamber if they need assistance.”

As the community has learned more about the virus and adapted to the ever-changing state and county health regulations, local businesses have worked to stay in compliance and take measures, such as testing and quarantining workers, according to Holly Schroeder, CEO and president of the SCV Economic Development Corporation.

“We’ve generally seen very high levels of compliance with the protocols that the (L.A. County) Health Department has put out, and we’ve seen from the beginning that our companies are really working hard to do everything they can to reduce any risk of spread,” she said. “There are mechanisms that companies are using, and it’s in the company’s interest to make sure that the rest of their employees are safe.”

In early September, county Public Health officials said worksite compliance to help prevent the spread of the virus is improving. Among 331 locations safety officials visited: 96% of all markets and hotels complied with protocols; 90% of hair salons/barbershops; and 83% of restaurants.

The new law’s passage comes as the Hart District Teachers Association voiced support Wednesday for more transparency from the district about reporting COVID-19 cases on campuses, amid at least one confirmed case within the district. HDTA President John Minkus said the district should implement protocols under AB 685 “prior to the Jan. 1 date of enactment,” as teachers want to return to campus with their students as safely as possible.

More closely, AB 685 requires an employer must do the following within one business day of receiving a notice of potential exposure from a public health official or doctor that a worker was exposed to another that tested positive for COVID-19:

* Provide a written notice to all employed who were on the premises at the same worksite as the infected individual.

* Provide workers with COVID-19-related benefits, such as workers’ compensation, coronavirus-related leave, and company or supplemental sick leave.

* Notify all employed on the disinfection and safety plan the employer intends to implement.

Supporters, such as the California Labor Federation — a sponsor of the bill — argue that AB 685 will help provide clarity as there is currently a lack of clearly outlined regulations around reporting COVID-19 exposure cases in the workplace, ultimately creating confusion among the employer community.

Opponents, such as the California Chamber of Commerce, argue that, while they support the overarching goal, the bill will expose “even good employers” to substantial fines and enforcement.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1938 - Supervisors award construction contract for jail at Wayside Farms in Castaic (later called Pitchess Detention Center). [story]
Wayside
As Los Angeles County hurtles to another severe stay-at-home lockdown due to a post-holiday COVID-19 surge, attorneys and renters want eviction trials and other court hearings to be put on hold because they say courtrooms are too crowded.
L.A. County Renters, Attorneys Demand Suspension of Evictions
The city of Santa Clarita on Friday announced the 16 community members selected to be part of the revamped Human Relations Roundtable.
City Names 16 Community Members to Human Relations Roundtable
Citing COVID-19 related health and safety concerns posed to student-athletes, coaches, and support staff, College of the Canyons teams will not participate in the upcoming California Community College Athletic Association Spring I 2021 season.
COC Nixes Competing in Delayed Fall Sports Season
The Santa Clarita City Council will swear in two Council members and choose the new mayor for 2021 in a special meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, December 8, starting at 5 p.m.
Dec. 8: Santa Clarita to Swear in New City Council Members, Choose Mayor
Cheryl Anne “Cheri” Fleming, 69, of Valencia, passed away from natural causes on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, following a brief illness resulting from a brain aneurysm.
Dec. 11: Services for Community Leader Cheri Fleming to be Live-Streamed
Los Angeles County launched a new COVID-19 home test collection program Friday which allows certain county residents to do free testing from the comfort of their own homes.
L.A. County Launches COVID-19 Home Test Collection Pilot
As a vaccine for COVID-19 edges closer, 60% of Americans say they will take it when it becomes available but a full 21% say they will not, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday.
Vaccine Trust Is Up, Pew Finds, Along With Attitudes on Masks
The Los Angeles County Development Authority is working to swiftly resolve technical issues that have temporarily downed the "Keep L.A. County Dining" program application portal, which saw a surge of thousands of applicants.
Applicants Surge Crashes ‘Keep L.A. County Dining’ Portal
1962- Actress and future Soledad Canyon big-cat rescuer Tippi Hedren, "Hitchcock's New Grace Kelly," makes cover of Look magazine for upcoming thriller, "The Birds" [story]
Tippi Hedren
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health again confirms the highest daily number of new cases and people hospitalized with COVID-19.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: L.A. County Cases, Hospitalizations Continue to Surge; 10,201 Total SCV Cases
Are your plants growing slower than you would like? Feeling a little frustrated? The health of your plants depends on the soil they’re planted in and the fertilizer you use to help them grow!
SCV Water Takes On Proper Soils, Fertilizers at Next Virtual Gardening Class
After imposing a temporary ban on outdoor dining, Los Angeles County health officials have to prove in court how it poses a significant risk for COVID-19 transmission, according to a county judge’s ruling Wednesday.
L.A. County Ordered to Provide Proof Outdoor Dining Poses COVID-19 Risks
Some Santa Clarita Valley residents were without power Thursday morning, while others remained under consideration for power shut-offs amid Red Flag conditions.
Red Flag Conditions Prompt SCV Power-Shutoffs
The Los Angeles County Probation Department is the recipient of a one-year, $356,615.00 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to monitor high-risk, repeat DUI offenders.
County Probation Receives Grant to Monitor High-Risk DUI Offenders
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new regional stay-at-home order Thursday, aimed at getting residents to stay home as much as possible in areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 surge for at least three weeks, with L.A. County on track to be placed under the order in the coming days.
New Regional Stay-at-Home Order Issued for California
JCI Santa Clarita, a premier young professional organization in the community, is partnering with our local WiSH Education Foundation to present the First Annual Virtual WiSH Run starting Friday, Jan. 1 - Saturday, Jan 9.
JCI Santa Clarita, WiSH Foundation Partner for Inaugural Virtual WiSH Run
(CN) — Real estate developers who promised to fund a nonprofit dedicated to preserving 90% of a 270,000-acre property north of Los Angeles are violating a 12-year-old pact by cutting their quarterly conservation payments, environmental groups claim in a new lawsuit.
Tejon Ranch Accused of Violating Pact to Fund Conservation
The city of Santa Clarita encourages interested residents to apply for several positions serving on the Arts Commission; the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission; the Planning Commission; and the Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel (FAAP).
Santa Clarita Seeking Local Residents for Appointment Vacancies
GreenPal, an app that connects homeowners with local, vetted lawn care professionals, is launching this week in Santa Clarita.
GreenPal Lawn Mowing App Launches in Santa Clarita
The Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation (SCVEF) is pleased to announce that they will be hosting a virtual Teacher Tribute on Friday, Dec. 4, at 4:00 p.m.
Dec. 4: SCV Education Foundation’s Virtual Teacher Tribute
1887 - Prohibitionist Henry Needham purchases land in Newhall, attempts to establish "dry" colony [story]
H.C. Needham
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 40 new deaths and 5,987 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 countywide, as the total number of Santa Clarita Valley residents diagnosed with the virus topped 10,000.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Record Hospitalizations in L.A. County; SCV Total Cases Top 10K
%d bloggers like this: