If you recall, President Biden announced in September that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) would be issuing a mandate requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to have a mandatory vaccination policy to minimize the spread of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace and protect unvaccinated employees. OSHA released the emergency temporary standard (called an ETS) on November 4th. All covered employers are required to be compliant with the ETS by January 4, 2022. While OSHA has issued prior guidance, these new requirements are a more aggressive step towards eliminating Covid-19 and its related risks in the workplace.
Who is covered? All employers with 100 or more employees, with some exceptions for healthcare and government contractors (because those employers are covered by other OSHA rules). The 100 employees can be full time, part-time or temporary. If you have 100 employees across your company, the company is likely covered. Talk to us about which of your employees may not be subject to the requirements.
What must employers do?
- Determine, confirm, and maintain certain records of your employees’ vaccination status with acceptable proof.
- Establish, implement, and enforce a written mandatory vaccination policy. This means that the Employer may either:
- require all employees that work in the workplace to be fully vaccinated (subject to religious and disability accommodations) OR
- allow unvaccinated employees to work with appropriate face coverings and weekly Covid-19 testing.
- Provide up to 4 hours of paid time for an employee to obtain the vaccine.
- Provide reasonable paid sick leave to recover from side effects experienced following any primary vaccination dose to each employee for each dose
- Require each employee to promptly notify the employer when they receive a positive COVID–19 test or are diagnosed with COVID–19 by a licensed healthcare provider, and send them home until they meet the criteria for returning to work.
- Report COVID–19 fatalities and hospitalizations to OSHA
- Provide certain information and notices to all employees
- Make certain records available to employees, including the employee’s own COVID-19 documentation, the aggregate number of fully vaccinated employees at a workplace, and the total number of employees at that workplace.
We understand that Covid-19 has been incredibly disruptive to both your employees and business operations. We are here to help navigate through these requirements to implement your own compliance quickly. Please feel free to contact Ginny Cascio Bonifacino at email@example.com or Natasha M. Nazareth at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any questions related to employment law in Potomac, MD and surrounding areas.