New Lawsuit Challenging COVID-19 Regulations Focuses on Cal/OSHA

Client Alert

Faced with an increasing number of COVID-19 infections across the state, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued emergency regulations intended to establish COVID-19 safety procedures in California workplaces. The regulations took effect on Monday, November 30, 2020, and are currently being enforced by Cal/OSHA. More information on the new regulations is available here.

On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, a group led by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the National Federation of Independent Businesses filed suit in California Superior Court in San Francisco, asking the court to enjoin the enforcement of the Cal/OSHA regulations and to declare that the regulations are unlawful under the Administrative Procedures Act, the California Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the state constitution.

The NRF suit is the latest of similar actions across the country challenging government regulations at local and state levels mandating that employers take steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Given the international scale of the California economy—the fifth largest in the world last year—the suit will be watched closely.

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