On January 10, 2022, SEIU Local 1000 filed an Unfair Practice Charge with PERB due to CDCR/CCHCS imposing N95 masking requirements for all staff while ignoring Cal-OSHA requirements for proper and safe use of N95 respirator masks. Without proper notice to the Union and the opportunity to bargain over the effects of the policy, CDCR/CCHCS told all institutional staff they were being required to don N95 masks without being fit-tested first.  

SEIU Local 1000 first notified CDCR/CCHCS labor relations in November, 2021 that its mandate that health care employees wear N95 masks as a condition of employment violates standards dictated by Cal-OSHA. According to these legal requirements, employers like CDCR/CCHCS who require respiratory protection if the working conditions include harmful exposures, along with providing the respirators, must have a written respiratory protection program that addresses:

  • proper selection of respiratory equipment;
  • employee training;
  • medical evaluation of an employee’s ability to wear a respirator;
  • ensuring proper fit of the respirators; and
  • proper respirator use, storage, and cleaning.

To require N95 masking—as opposed to other masks for precautionary reasons—the employer must also follow all other applicable requirements in Title 8 CCR section 5144.

Our Unfair Practice Charge contends that CDCR/CCHCS failed to correctly follow this regulation, notify the Union, or offer the opportunity to meet and confer. The Union’s Charge also demands expedited action at PERB. 

Click here to read the filing.