As mentioned before the 2020-2021 Winter break, Assembly Bill 685 went into effect on January 1st, 2021. Assembly Bill 685, which added Section 6409.6 to the California Labor Code and California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3205. COVID-19 Prevention requires all California employers to provide notice to their employees, exclusive union representatives, and employers of subcontracted employees of potential exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. These notices must be issued within one business day of the potential exposure and contain specific information including location and dates during which the potential COVID-19 exposure occurred.
To share this information and provide a clear overview, UC Merced will support a COVID-19 case location dashboard that will be updated with potential exposures at UC Merced facilities within the past 14 days, the dates the infected individuals were on UC Merced property during the infectious period and the buildings they visited during that timeframe. If you are working, learning or living on UC Merced property, please bookmark the site and check it daily.
We will also send email notifications about these potential exposures to all employees, whether working remote or on campus.
Please note that this dashboard and notifications are separate from UC Merced’s contact tracing, which remains unchanged. There is no need to contact the COVID Response Center after receiving these AB 685 email notifications. Anyone considered to be a close contact of a positive case (as defined by the Merced County Department of Public Health) will be directly contacted by the UC Merced COVID Response Team and provided appropriate instructions.
What to Expect Under these Changes:
Whenever UC Merced receives notice of a COVID-19 positive case occurring on site, the new case location dashboard will be updated and an email will be sent to all employees.
Importantly, AB 685 requires UC Merced to provide notice to all unions of any employee (including those not represented by a union) who tested positive for COVID-19 and who worked at UC Merced facilities, and to provide the name, job title, date of onset of illness and location of the worksite. Any employee who does not want their identity to be disclosed in this notification must request anonymity by filling out this form. If you do not fill out this form, your name and job title will be disclosed to the unions if you test positive for the virus.
Confidentiality of personally identifiable information is provided for in AB 685, which prevents disclosure of personally identifiable employee information in a public records or similar request. It also prohibits disclosure of the information on a website or to any other state or federal agency. However, AB 685 mandates the disclosure to UC Merced union representatives unless the employee specifically indicates they do not want their information shared.
Thank you again for your attention to protocols and procedures. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.