Millions of Californians returning to work or preparing to return for the first time since the pandemic started in 2020 fear for their safety at work.
As the guidelines of state and local leaders continue to evolve and change, the NBC4 I team spoke to labor lawyer Dominic Messiha about the responsibilities of employers and workers in the workplace.
A big question that is often asked by employees: How much information do employers have to pass on at a workplace after a positive COVID-19 test result?
"Privacy laws are in effect," said Messiha, co-founder of LA-based Empower Law. "Typically, the rule is that the minimum amount of information required to protect the safety of the workforce must be disclosed so that they can be someone who works at facility" y "at" z "time. This can Be the employer Who knows who was exposed to this person based on shift plans, and these employees can be notified instead of notifying the entire workforce as a whole. "
Workers are morally required to share information that could affect public health, Messiha said.
"If an employee has symptoms, if that employee has been exposed, if that employee has tested positive, and is asymptomatic, that employee should inform the employer," he said.
California law allows employees who request safety equipment and question safety measures at work without fear of retaliation, and immigration and citizenship status cannot be considered in the event of problems at work.
"If you are an employee here in California, you have the right to be heard, you have the right to speak," said Messiha. "And as an employer, you are obliged to listen to your employees."
Click here for a list of jobs in LA County where COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported.
Coronavirus resources for employers and workers.
Cal / OSHA preliminary general guidelines for protecting workers from COVID-19.
FAQs about laws enforced by the California Labor Commissioner's Office.
Family First Coronavirus Response Act.