As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in California, employers are faced with an increasing number of requirements to promptly report illnesses and deaths related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  In order to simplify reporting obligations imposed by state and federal agencies, Martin Law has prepared a table with guidelines that are current as of the date of publication (October 28, 2020).  Employers should also confirm they are complying with any requirements imposed by counties in which they operate or have employees.

 

Required Reason to Report Mandatory Reporting Timeframe Governmental Agency
Employee has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 that requires hospitalization or results in death. 

Employers must report all serious illnesses, injuries, and deaths that occurred at work or in connection with work.  This includes a COVID-19 illness if it results in death or meets the definition of a serious illness, which includes any illness that requires inpatient hospitalization other than for medical observation or diagnostic testing.

If a worker becomes ill while at work and is admitted on an in-patient basis at a hospital, the illness is considered to have occurred in a place of employment and the employer must report this to the nearest Cal/OSHA office.  

Reportable illnesses are not limited to instances when the employee becomes ill at work.  Employers should report a serious illness if there is cause to believe the illness may be work-related.  Evidence suggesting transmission at or during work makes a serious illness reportable.

For more information, visit Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Recording and Reporting FAQ page

Employers must report the illness or death immediately, but in no case later than 8 hours. California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA)

Contact method 1: *Preferred* Call your local district Cal/OSHA office

Contact method 2: E-mail caloshaaccidentreport@tel-us.com

Outbreak of COVID-19 among employees. 

An outbreak is defined as three or more persons who have confirmed laboratory-tested cases of COVID-19, are from different households, and whose cases are all confirmed within a period of two weeks.  For more information, visit this link from the California Department of Public Health.

Please note that employers in the healthcare industry or who oversee congregate living settings are subject to a different set of requirements that can be found here.

Employers must report the outbreak within 48 hours. California Department of Public HealthContact the county health department where the employees’ worksite is located AND, if different, the county health department where the diagnosed employees live.
Employee hospitalized due to confirmed case of COVID-19

This reporting requirement is only applicable when the employee is exposed to the illness at work and is hospitalized within 24 hours of exposure.  (See 29 CFR 1904.39(b)(6).)

For more information, visit OSHA’s COVID-19 FAQ page.

Employers must report the illness within 24 hours of knowing both that the employee has been in-patient hospitalized and that the reason for the hospitalization was a work-related case of COVID-19. U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Contact method 1: Call your nearest OSHA office

Contact method 2: Call the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742

Contact method 3: Visit the OSHA online reporting page

Employee dies of COVID-19 (including its related complications) within 30 days of being exposed to the illness in the workplace.  (See 29 CFR 1904.39(b)(6).)

For more information, visit OSHA’s COVID-19 FAQ page.

Employers must report the fatality within 8 hours of knowing both that the employee has died and that the cause of death was a work-related case of COVID-19. U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Contact method 1: Call the nearest OSHA office

Contact method 2: Call the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742

Contact method 3: Visit the OSHA online reporting page

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