OSHA Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Emergency Temporary Standard
In a November 4, 2021, News Release, the United States Department of Labor‘s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced its awaited Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) directing private sector employers with more than 100 employees to develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. Take note that the100 employee threshold is determined on a companywide basis. This means that employers with multiple locations employing 100 people in the aggregate are required to comply.
The ETS includes exceptions to the vaccine requirement for employees who undergo weekly testing for COVID-19, including employees with medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs which prevent them from receiving the vaccine.
Although legal challenges to the ETS are expected, it is currently effective upon its publication in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021. Employers must comply with most ETS requirements within 30 days of this publication and with the testing mandates within 60.
While the ETS does not require employers to pay for testing or face coverings, it does require that employers provide paid time to workers to get vaccinated as well as paid leave to recover from any side effects that prevent employees from working.
The ETS also requires employers to do the following:
- Determine the vaccination status of each employee, obtain acceptable proof of vaccination status from vaccinated employees and maintain records and a roster of each employee’s vaccination status.
- Require employees to provide prompt notice when they test positive for COVID-19 or receive a COVID-19 diagnosis. Employers must then remove the employee from the workplace, regardless of vaccination status; employers must not allow them to return to work until they meet required criteria.
- Ensure each worker who is not fully vaccinated is tested for COVID-19 at least weekly (if the worker is in the workplace at least once a week) or within 7 days before returning to work (if the worker is away from the workplace for a week or longer).
- Ensure that, in most circumstances, each employee who has not been fully vaccinated wears a face covering when indoors or when occupying a vehicle with another person for work purposes.
Detailed information concerning the ETS and OSHA’s enforcement plans can be found here.
Members with compliance questions may contact Mike Dodd at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nick Fiorenza at email@example.com for assistance.
Tim Freeman, President
Print & Graphic Communications Association
Office: (716) 691-3211
Cell: (716) 983-3826