SB 606: Enhanced Enforcement and Penalties Plus New Categories for Health and Safety Violations — Protecting Businesses, Especially Multi-Site Businesses

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: California is one of the best states in the nation if you are an employee — but for employers wanting to ensure they are in compliance with health and safety regulations for their employees, it can be a bit tricky. And, let’s face it, with a full-time legislature, there will always be another new mandate that employers must take into consideration. 

Providing for the health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance to responsible business owners. As a business owner myself, I know firsthand that a profitable and thriving business is dependent on its employees. Of course, we want the best for them.

As a labor and employment law attorney, I’ve seen discussions related to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) take center stage since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In fact, the state’s COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards have helped set the stage for a completely new wave of legislation related to employee health and safety. When it comes to complying with the web of laws, policies, and mandates affecting employers, we simply cannot overstate the value of education and consultation with a qualified attorney. At Proper Defense, we routinely work with our clients to limit their exposure to litigation and fines. 

Taking effect in January of 2022, Senate Bill 606 is among the latest important laws we believe will affect employers.


SB 606 establishes two new Cal/OSHA violation categories that can potentially affect employers: violations that are considered “enterprise-wide” and those that are deemed to be “egregious.” Employers can be cited well over $100,000 for violations of the new law. Speaking in generalities, an enterprise-wide violation is one issued for a business at which there are multiple worksites. An egregious violation is one in which an employer made no effort to address the known violation. The fines for an egregious penalty can be multiplied by the number of employees affected.

An Enterprise-Wide violation is of particular concern to businesses with multiple worksites for their employees. According to the text of SB 606, an employer may be in violation of health and safety requirements if one of the following is true across multiple worksites:

  1. The employer has a written policy or procedure that violates specific sections of the California Health and Safety Code. No onsite investigation or observation of a violation is required by Cal/OSHA if employer materials point to a violation.
  2. Evidence exists of a pattern or practice of the same violation or violations committed by that employer involving more than one of the employer’s worksites.

An “Egregious Violation” can carry even larger civil penalties and liabilities. SB 606 states that one of the following must be true about the employer or the willful violations committed by it:

  1. The employer, intentionally, through conscious, voluntary action or inaction, made no reasonable effort to eliminate the known violation.
  2. The violations resulted in worker fatalities, a worksite catastrophe or a large number of injuries or illnesses. 
  3. The violations resulted in persistently high rates of worker injuries or illnesses.
  4. The employer has an extensive history of prior violations of this part.
  5. The employer has intentionally disregarded their health and safety responsibilities.
  6. The employer’s conduct, taken as a whole, amounts to clear bad faith in the performance of their duties under this part.
  7. The employer has committed a large number of violations so as to significantly undermine the effectiveness of any safety and health program that may be in place.

Investigation compliance standards have also been enhanced by SB 606. Further, according to the bill’s text, Cal/OSHA can issue a subpoena if the employer fails to provide the requested information within a reasonable period of time. This makes education and preparation related to health and safety compliance more essential than ever.


Especially with COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards in place, now is the best time to ensure that all written procedures and policies related to health and safety are up to date. New Cal/OSHA standards issued during the pandemic could mean that your employee policies are out of date. 

Among the employee policies employers should consider reviewing are COVID-19 Prevention Plans (CPP), Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP), Emergency Action Plans, Fire Prevention Plans, Code of Safe Practices, and any other written programs spanning multiple sites.

By identifying areas of improvement and keeping policies consistently updated and implemented by management and other key staff, your business is best poised for protection from violations under the new law. While this is directed primarily at multi-site businesses, a business of any size can benefit from the protections and confidence that come from preparation. Simply stated — better safe than sorry.


As an employer, it is advantageous to have sound legal advice and representation while navigating Cal/OSHA requirements BEFORE receiving violations or being subject to civil litigation.

Proper Defense Civil Division Founder Justin Vecchiarelli focuses his practice in employment and labor law. His extensive experience has helped businesses of all sizes ensure they are in compliance with state health and safety standards. At Proper Defense, we are uniquely qualified to help businesses navigate the continuously updated health and safety requirements of state and federal employment law.

For a true advocate that you can trust, in a judgment-free zone, contact Proper Defense Law Corporation today. For a FREE consultation in the Fresno area, call (559) 825-3800. You can reach us at our Beverly Hills location by calling (424) 284-4066. You can also schedule an appointment online on our Contact Us page. It gets better with Proper Defense, we promise.

In addition to this information, other resources potentially available to you can be found by searches such as: sb 606 california, sb 606 and ab 1668, sb 606 gonzalez, calosha penalties 2021, calosha covid 19, calosha violations, calosha covid regulations 2021, calosha regulations pdf, calosha reporting, calosha update, calosha complaint, cal osha mask requirements covid 19, calosha covid 19 quarantine, calosha covid 19 general checklist, calosha covid regulations 2021, calosha covid 19 emergency temporary standards what employers need to know, top employment lawyers in california, calosha attorney, california labor law attorney near me, california employment lawyer free consultation, employment lawyer near me, business attorney near me, or small business lawyer near me.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply