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California retailers facing a variety of complications from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic now have one additional obstacle to tackle: compliance with new emergency standards from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”).  On November 19, 2020, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board unanimously adopted emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 prevention in the workplace.  Prior to the adoption of the emergency standards, general and industry-specific guidance from Cal/OSHA was advisory.  However, the new emergency standards are binding and enforceable against nearly all California employers effective November 30, 2020.  This article sets forth the basic requirements under the new standards.  It then identifies some new complications and costs that retail employers in particular may face when attempting to comply.
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