Prepare for OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Temporary Standard
September 24, 2021
On September 9, 2021, as part of his COVID-19 announcement on new measures to combat COVID-19 in the U.S.. President Biden announced new COVID-19 mandates for employers. Please see below for information, taken from President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan which can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/covidplan/.
Requiring All Employers with 100+ Employees to Ensure their Workers are Vaccinated or Tested Weekly
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. This requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100+ employees.
Requiring Vaccinations for all Federal Workers and for Millions of Contractors that Do Business with the Federal Government
Building on the President’s announcement in July to strengthen safety requirements for unvaccinated federal workers, the President has signed an Executive Order to take those actions a step further and require all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated. The President also signed an Executive Order directing that this standard be extended to employees of contractors that do business with the federal government. As part of this effort, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institute of Health will complete implementation of their previously announced vaccination requirements that cover 2.5 million people.
Requiring Employers to Provide Paid Time Off to Get Vaccinated
To continue efforts to ensure that no worker loses a dollar of pay because they get vaccinated, OSHA is developing a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. This requirement will be implemented through the ETS.
The announcement also included:
- Requiring COVID-19 Vaccinations for Over 17 Million Health Care Workers at Medicare and Medicaid Participating Hospitals and Other Health Care Settings
- Calling on Large Entertainment Venues to Require Proof of Vaccination or Testing for Entry
OSHA has not announced a release date for the Emergency Temporary Standard that will provide specifics on the vaccination rules nor has a date been announced for when the mandate will go into effect.
Affected employers should begin to prepare for the mandate. According to the National Law Review, the following are steps employers may consider to comply with the upcoming mandate:
- Create a vaccination policy
- Prepare to collect vaccination information.
- Prepare to roll out mandatory testing.
- Consider a mandatory vaccine policy.
- Prepare to receive accommodation requests.
- Confer with a qualified attorney.
Please contact Lyons Companies with questions or for assistance with your COVID-19 plan or any other risk management service need.