OSHA Vaccine Mandates in the Workplace

On November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its highly anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to mandate that their employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus or wear a mask and test for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis.
Here are some key highlights from the announcement:

1. OSHA's ETS threshold of 100 or more employees applies to the company-wide employee count, not just at one facility.

  • The ETS does not require employers to provide or pay for tests unless they are otherwise required to by state or local laws or in labor union contracts. Governor Ige's most recent proclamation clarifies that private employers are not currently responsible for the cost of testing.
  • Employees who work remotely or exclusively outdoors are exempt from ETS requirements.
  • Other vaccination exceptions include reasonable accommodations for legally protected medical and religious reasons.

2. Employers must provide paid time (up to four hours) for workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure workers have paid sick leave to recover from any side effects that prevent them from working.

3. Employers must comply with most provisions by December 5, 2021 and comply with the vaccination or testing requirement by January 4, 2022Learn more about compliance dates here.

4. Businesses that don’t comply may face significant OSHA fines.

To coincide with the ETS and CMS timelines, the deadline for the federal contractor vaccination requirement has been pushed back from December 8, 2021, to January 4, 2022.
For more information, please review the OSHA-provided summary fact sheet, FAQs, and other compliance materials.

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