This morning, November 4th, 2021, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement President Biden’s mandate that employers with 100 or more workers require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.
The implementation of the vaccine and testing mandate will impact more than 84 million workers in private sector businesses nationally.
Top Takeaways from the OSHA ETS
- Employees must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, and employers must require unvaccinated employees to mask and produce a negative test on at least a weekly basis.
- Employers are required to have a written vaccination policy.
- The OSHA ETS does not apply to employees who do not report to a workplace where there are other individuals such as coworkers or customers are present; employees working from home; or employees who work exclusively outdoors.
- The deadline for federal contractors to comply has been pushed back to Jan. 4.
- Companies are not required to pay for or provide the tests unless they are otherwise required to by state or local laws or in labor union contracts.
- Employers must pay employees for the time it takes to get vaccinated.
- Employers must ensure all unvaccinated employees are masked by Dec. 5, 2021.
- Employers must report COVID-19 fatalities and hospitalizations to OSHA.
- The OSHA ETS reaffirms that employers must provide reasonable accommodations.
According to the Department of Labor, vaccine testing and face-covering requirements preempt inconsistent state and local requirements.
If you need assistance creating your company’s vaccination policy, a new requirement of ETS, please contact the experts at HRinDemand, your total people solution.
Would you like to give your two cents on the policy? If so, SHRM is requesting feedback from HR professionals about how the ETS will affect employers and employees. Please complete SHRM’s OSHA ETS feedback survey. It only takes one minute.
If you liked this post, check out: A Reminder for Employers to Follow COVID-19 Safety Guidelines and Stave Off Pandemic Burnout
Melissa Marsh, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a human resources consultant and founder of HRinDemand, a human resources company in Reno, NV, offering expert guidance and easy-to-use tools to help small businesses with employment regulations, compliance, employee relations, and company growth.