OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

Today, November 4, 2021, OSHA’s new Emergency Temporary Standard on Vaccination and Testing was officially filed in the Office of the Federal Register and is effective immediately. The ETS on Vaccination and Testing requires businesses with 100 or more employees to develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work. Businesses must provide paid time off to workers to get vaccinated and allow paid leave to recover from any side effects.

According to the US Department of Labor ETS, employers are also required 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.

 The emergency temporary standard does not require employers to pay for testing. Employers may be required to pay for testing to comply with other laws, regulations, collective bargaining agreements, or other collectively negotiated agreements. Employers are also not required to pay for face coverings.

Large employers must comply by January 4, 2022. Companies that do not enforce the rule may be subject to fines. You can read the full news release here.

If you or your company have questions or a legal matter related to OSHA’s new Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing, employment or labor law issues, please contact Anderson Jones Attorneys by email or phone at (919) 277-2541.