A controversial workplace mask regulation sparks outrage from California’s business community, state regulators Wednesday night voting to reverse that decision.

That rule from the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board would have allowed workers in nearly all settings to leave masks on only in situations where everyone in a room had been vaccinated against COVID-19. If only one person was not vaccinated, everyone would be required to wear a mask.

This contrasts with a state-wide plan to remove almost all masking and social distancing requirements for vaccinated people, which align more with the latest recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The board initially rejected the mask place regulation before moving it forward in early June – a decision that prompted anger from business advocacy groups, which said it would place an undue burden on employers.

Wednesday night’s board meeting was attended by members of the public, workers, industry leaders and employers, who lodged their complaints during more than two hours of public commentary.

Safety board staff were not specific about what changes it would recommend at its scheduled meeting next week, other than what it would try to follow more closely with public health guidelines.

Helen Cleary, director of the Filer Regulatory Roundtable, said the back-and-forth on state workplace rules has led to confusion.

“Employers cannot plan with this high level of uncertainty,” she said in a statement. “We are frustrated and disappointed by the confusion, the lack of process, essence and leadership.”

A dozen business groups and organizations representing manufacturers, farmers, tourism interests and other industries sent a letter to Newsom asking for the board’s rules to be repealed before Wednesday night’s reversal.

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He added that requiring masks until everyone in the workplace is vaccinated “will create another barrier to re-hiring and reopening” when “we have to get people back.” There is a need to provide incentives,” he said.

The board’s controversial workplace decision comes as Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom faces a potential recall election, which was brought on by dissent over its handling of the pandemic.

Michael Miller, director of government relations for the California Association of Winegrape Growers, told board members before the vote that the general public “does not differentiate between this board and the rest of Newsom’s administration.”

“What they hear is the Newsom administration saying that wearing a mask at work may be here to stay,” he said.

Business groups also want the board to withdraw its proposal from July 31 to start providing the most effective N95 masks for voluntary use by employees who work indoors or at large outdoor events and completely Do not vaccinate. He said it would be expensive. and compete with the needs of health care workers.

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Board members stressed ahead of Wednesday’s vote that their revised rules were temporary. The board’s decision to withdraw the workplace rule before it takes effect allows the board to consider the changes at a meeting next Thursday and potentially implement those changes before the end of the month.