AbstractBackgroundInformation on the occupational distribution of COVID-19 mortality is limited.ObjectiveTo characterize COVID-19 fatalities among working Californians.DesignRetrospective study of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 fatalities with dates of death from January 1 to December 31, 2020.SettingCalifornia.ParticipantsCOVID-19 accounted for 8,050 (9.9%) of 81,468 fatalities among Californians 18-64 years old. Of these decedents, 2,486 (30.9%) were matched to state employment records and classified as “confirmed working.” The remainder were classified as “likely working” (n=4,121 [51.2%]) or “not working” (n=1,443 [17.9%]) using death certificate and case registry data.MeasurementsWe calculated age-adjusted overall and occupation-specific COVID-19 mortality rates using 2019 American Community Survey denominators.ResultsConfirmed and likely working COVID-19 decedents were predominantly male (76.3%), Latino (68.7%), and foreign-born (59.6%), with high school or less education (67.9%); 7.8% were Black. The overall age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rate was 30.0 per 100,000 workers (95% confidence interval [CI], 29.3-30.8). Workers in nine occupational groups had mortality rates higher than this overall rate, including those in farming (78.0; 95% CI, 68.7-88.2); material moving (77.8; 95% CI, 70.2-85.9); construction (62.4; 95% CI, 57.7-67.4); production (60.2; 95% CI, 55.7-65.0); and transportation (57.2; 95% CI, 52.2-62.5) occupations. While occupational differences in mortality were evident across demographic groups, mortality rates were three-fold higher for male compared with female workers and three- to seven-fold higher for Latino and Black workers compared with Asian and White workers.LimitationsThe requirement that fatalities be laboratory-confirmed and the use of 2019 denominator data may underestimate the occupational burden of COVID-19 mortality.ConclusionCalifornians in manual labor and in-person service occupations experienced disproportionate COVID-19 mortality, with the highest rates observed among male, Latino, and Black workers.