Protestors Outside of Cal-OSHA Fight for Consistency in Mask Guidelines 

Protestors Outside of Cal-OSHA Fight for Consistency in Mask Guidelines 
Demonstrators gather to protest coronavirus restrictions by Cal-OSHA in Santa Ana, Calif., on June 10, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Jack Bradley

More than 40 Orange County, Calif. residents frustrated with the uncertainty of mask guidelines protested June 10 outside of the regional Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) in Santa Ana.

The previous day, on June 9, the agency’s board reversed a previously-made decision requiring all California workers to wear masks indoors, unless all people are vaccinated and not showing symptoms of the CCP virus.

The proposed rules also scrap physical distancing requirements if employers make N-95 respirator masks available to non-vaccinated workers.

Cal-OSHA’s proposal was met with criticism due to its conflicting stance with state and CDC masking regulations. Its June 9 special meeting was held to reverse their decision. However, the board will revisit the issue during a future meeting.

Cathy Kubo, one of the rally organizers and member of Orange County Informed and United, called Cal-OSHA’s proposed rules “horrifying.”

“This is ridiculous—if you have one person who isn’t vaccinated, then you all have to wear masks,” Kubo told The Epoch Times.

Kubo said the regulations will put “pressure” on individuals who don’t want to get vaccinated to get the jab to avoid being “the one guy in the office that people are saying, ‘you’re the guy that’s making us all stay masked.’”

Laura O’Neal, a small business owner in Irvine, said Cal-OSHA’s regulations would be stressful and cause division within the company’s culture.

If employers are required to treat employees differently based upon vaccination status, it will “pit employees against each other,” she said.

“We’re going to have more of these rallies; we’re going to get more people here; and we'll get more business owners.”

Adam Beamish, owner of an Orange County construction company, said the proposed rules put him in a dilemma. He is concerned he may be sued by employees if he requires them to wear masks after June 15, since he would be following the proposed Cal-OSHA rules, but not state and CDC regulations.

“At a minimum, my hope is that we will line up with the federal guidelines from the CDC,” Beamish told The Epoch Times.

“At least we’re all on the same page and we’re not running contrary to what the guidelines are.”

One of the rally attendees, who works in human resources, said employers requiring proof of vaccination is an “invasion of privacy.”

With whatever Cal-OSHA decides moving forward, “all employers will be obligated to comply … so, we need to continue this fight, we need to take it to the state, and make sure that they do not pass these ridiculous regulations,” she said during the rally.