Governor Newsom announced last week that by February 1, 2022, health care workers and all employees in high-risk congregate settings, including those providing in-home care will be required to get their COVID-19 booster shot. In the interim, all health care staff that have not received their booster must test for COVID-19 twice weekly until they are up to date on their vaccines.
Last month, the HCAOA California Chapter held a meeting focused on the state's vaccine mandate for home care workers and issues with the Guardian System. HCAOA compiled members’ questions and speakers Jennifer Nicklas, DSS Home Care Services Bureau Chief, and Atty. Elizabeth Murphy, JacksonLewis, agreed to provide answers as a follow up.
HCAOA continues to fight against California’s AB 2455 law that requires all home care aides’ personal information, including their home addresses and phone numbers, to be turned over to SEIU to assist with union organizing. HCAOA initially filed the lawsuit in 2019 but the lower court upheld the law, so HCAOA filed an appeal from that decision.
Among the many new California bills signed into law this session are two that amend the state’s workplace safety laws. Senate Bill (SB) 606 creates new classes of health and safety violations and dramatically increases liability for non-compliant written workplace safety and health programs. Assembly Bill (AB) 654 makes notable revisions to an employer’s COVID-19 exposure notification and reporting requirements.
Last week, the California Department of Social Services issued a Provider Information Notice alerting home care organizations that all registered home care aides must be vaccinated against COVID by November 30. There are two exemptions to this rule: Declining vaccination based on religious beliefs or being excused from receiving the vaccine due to qualifying medical reasons.
Yesterday, the California Department of Social Services issued a Provider Information Notice alerting home care organizations that all registered home care aides must be vaccinated against COVID by November 30. However there are two exemptions to this rule: Declining vaccination based on religious beliefs or excused from receiving the vaccine due to qualifying medical reasons.
CALIFORNIA: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Split Decision Partially Upholding AB 51 Anti-Arbitration Law
On September 15, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a split decision partially upholding California’s AB 51, the Anti-Arbitration Law. The Court struck down the criminal penalties but said the law’s restrictions on entering into arbitration waivers of state law claims could be enforced, despite clear Supreme Court authority to the contrary and rulings in other circuits. There is a strong dissenting opinion and this case is likely going to go to the next level. HCAOA will keep members in California updated on this case.
Join the HCAOA California Chapter on October 13 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. PT for critical updates on home care regulations, legislation and labor laws affecting the industry, vaccination mandate information and more! Featured speakers include DSS Home Care Services Bureau Chief Jennifer Niklas and Attorney Elizabeth H. Murphy, JacksonLewis.
The HCAOA California Chapter has confirmed that Jennifer Nicklas, Chief of DSS Home Care Services Bureau, will participate in the chapter meeting on October 13. Click here to submit your own ideas and questions to let the chapter know what issues you'd like DSS to discuss.
Several States Issue COVID Vaccine Mandates: HCAOA Chapters Seeking Clarification on Requirements for Home Care
Several states have recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates for health care workers, and HCAOA and state chapters are working with state officials to clarify how these mandates impact home care. For example, mandates in Washington, California, and New York do not include home care in some settings, while the order in New Jersey does include home care.
On June 24, 2021, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti revised his Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19 (SPSL) Order and issued a new order, Vaccine Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19 (CVL Order). The mayor’s orders come almost one month after the City Council approved a motion requesting that he take such actions. The mayor’s SPSL Order revisions apply prospectively, from June 24, 2021, and the SPSL Order continues to apply until two calendar weeks after the local COVID-19 emergency period ends. The CVL Order applies retroactively to January 1, 2021, and it will remain in effect until September 30, 2021, though employees on COVID-19 vaccine leave (CVL) on that date can continue to take the full amount of leave under the order. read more
HCAOA’s state chapters continue to monitor states’ legislative and regulatory actions. Here’s a quick listing of the most recent home care happenings around the country.
As a result of the Governor signing Executive Order N-08-21, rescinding certain provisions of COVID-19-related Executive Orders, the Department of Social Services has released two PINs that will be in effect until September 30, 2021.
Cal/OSHA issued much-awaited FAQs which provide clarity on whether employers must continue to exclude fully vaccinated employees from the workplace if they were exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 case (at work or otherwise). Prior to this guidance, fully vaccinated employees in California with exposure were still required to be excluded from the workplace under Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), but not under CDC guidance. This conflict was challenging for many employers because it effectively resulted in the exclusion of workers whose risk of transmission was low according to CDC guidance in order to ensure compliance with the ETS. Such exclusion requirements had onerous implications with continuing supplemental paid leave obligations under SB 95, the FFCRA, and the ETS. read more