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Assemblywoman Laurie Davies. (Photo: Laurie Davies)

New Bill Allows Documentation of COVID in the Workplace

Authorizes a private employer to request prescribed documentation of a positive COVID-19 test

By Chris Micheli, February 17, 2021 7:54 am

On February 16, Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel) introduced Assembly Bill 757 related to required document of COVID tests and diagnoses. The bill would add Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 1140) to Part 3 of Division 2 of the Labor Code. It includes an urgency clause, so it would be in effect upon approval by the Legislature and the Governor.

Chapter 10 would be entitled, “Documentation of COVID-19 Test or Diagnosis.” It would authorize a private employer to request documentation of a positive COVID-19 test or diagnosis if an employee reports that the employee has been diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19 and is unable to work, and that the employer determines that the employee may be subject to a 14-day exclusion from the workplace or under any similar COVID-19 exclusion requirements established in statute or regulation.

The bill would provide that an employer, in requesting documentation pursuant to this section and in receiving information in response to that requirement, would have to comply with existing privacy protections. The bill would specify that an employer must consider documentation to be sufficient if it consists of either a positive test or written documentation by a health care provider advising the employee to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

According to the bill, this measure should take effective immediately to protect businesses that are essential to the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety and the state’s economic security during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would likely be heard in its first policy committee in late March.

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