OSHA issued a statement on the status of the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS following the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s issued stay on Jan. 13, 2021.
Per OSHA, “The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is withdrawing the vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard issued on Nov. 5, 2021, to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers with 100 or more employees from workplace exposure to coronavirus. The withdrawal is effective January 26, 2022.
Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule. The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.
OSHA strongly encourages vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace.”
Nonetheless, the agency is moving forward with its proposal to make the temporary directive a permanent standard.
OSHA highlighted the following areas that the agency will consider as it develops the final rule:
- Whether employers with fewer than 100 employees should be covered by a potential final standard; whether such employers are currently requiring workers to get vaccinated (either with or without offering alternatives, such as testing and masking); and what benefits and challenges they have experienced.
- Whether the scope of the rule should change to address the significant risk posed by COVID-19 in the workplace. For example, should portions of the rule, such as masking requirements, apply to fully vaccinated workers?
- Whether the agency should consider additional scientific information about prior COVID-19 infection and immunity. “Given scientific uncertainty and limitations in testing for infection and immunity, OSHA is concerned that it would be infeasible for employers to operationalize a standard that would permit or require an exception from vaccination or testing and face-covering based on prior infection with COVID-19,” the agency said.
- Whether OSHA should impose a strict vaccination mandate with no alternative compliance options.
- What types of COVID-19 vaccination policies employers have implemented to protect workers; whether vaccination is mandatory or voluntary under the policy; what type of leave is offered; and what percentage of their workforce was vaccinated as a result.
- Whether employers have COVID-19 testing and removal policies and what those policies require.
Clients wishing for additional information on the vaccine or testing mandate, please contact your Guardian HR dedicated Manager. You may also find resources such as FAQs, sample policies, accommodation request forms, sample memos, etc. in the Forms Library > CORONAVIRUS > Vaccine > OSHA ETS for 100+ Employers.
If you wish to become a client of Guardian HR and get access to all our resources including your own dedicated HR Manager and our team of employment attorneys, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 888-373-4724.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]