The recently announced federal OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) regarding vaccination requirements for employees has generated a number of inquiries. MSBA and its law firm are closely reviewing the federal ETS and are monitoring developments in Minnesota and across the nation.
A number of legal challenges to the ETS are working their way through the court system. In addition, Minnesota OSHA is conducting its own process, which could affect the federal ETS requirements. These factors could result in changes to the original ETS, including possible implementation delays.
The federal ETS generally requires affected employers to establish, implement, and enforce a mandatory vaccination policy (employers are exempt if they have a written policy that includes regular testing and masking). MSBA is working now on a model policy to satisfy the ETS requirement and will distribute it when it is finalized. This model policy will be available in time for school board adoption that satisfies the final federal and state requirements and deadlines. School districts do not need to take immediate board action now.
Please note that MSBA Model Policy 208 establishes an emergency process for policy adoption that would allow a school board to adopt this model policy in time to meet the deadline (once the deadline for policy adoption is finally determined and court actions are no longer pending).
MSBA encourages school districts to communicate with staff about the federal ETS. Sample language appears below:
On November 5, 2021, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a COVID-19 Vaccine or Testing Emergency Standard (ETS) effective December 5, 2021 that requires employers with 100 or more employees to require employee vaccination or regular testing and masking. In Minnesota, the Minnesota OSHA agency (MN-OSHA) has 30 days to adopt the ETS or “just as effective measures.”
Many questions have arisen and the situation is evolving daily. Court challenges have been filed that may delay implementation and/or affect provisions in the ETS. MN-OSHA must complete its process.
The school district is closely monitoring the situation and will provide additional information as it becomes available.
MSBA will continue monitoring ETS developments and sharing information as it becomes available.