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On February 10, 2022, Assembly Bill (AB) 1993 was introduced in the California legislature. This bill would amend certain COVID-19 vaccination requirements in employment settings and create a framework for California employers to be responsible for vaccination programs in their workplaces.

AB 1993 (also known as Government Code Section 12940.4) would go in to effect on January 1, 2023, if passed in the legislature and signed by the governor. The law would create a plethora of California employer duties around COVID-19 vaccines. If passed, the bill would “require each person who is an employee or independent contractor, and who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, to show proof to the employer … that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The bill defines “vaccinated against COVID-19” as either being “fully vaccinated” by a vaccine authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) or having received “the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine … provides proof of that first dose, and provides proof of receiving the second dose of the vaccine within 45 days after receiving the first dose.” The bill carves out certain exemptions to the vaccination requirement including a medical condition or disability or a “sincerely held religious belief that precludes the person from receiving the vaccination.” The bill even includes a reporting provision for submitting vaccination information to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and penalty provisions of an indeterminate amount for failure to comply with this proposed law.

The bill would remain operative until the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “determines that COVID-19 vaccinations are no longer necessary for the health and safety of individuals, and as of that date is repealed.”

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Cal/OSHA ETS. When Cal/OSHA makes a new proposal to the Standards Board, we will post updates on the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center and our California and Workplace Safety and Health blogs. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.

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