Updated: January 31, 2022
On January 25, 2022, OSHA announced that it is withdrawing its Emergency Temporary Standard, which would have required private sector U.S. employers with 100 or more employees to either mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for their employees or require them to comply with weekly Covid-19 testing and face covering requirements.
On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled to halt the OSHA ETS COVID-19 Vaccine & Testing requirements for large employers. At the same time, the Court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.
Even though the mandate has been withdrawn at the Federal level, there are still many States and Jurisdictions mandating vaccination programs for certain workers.
In light of all the uncertainty for employers, we still want to provide the necessary information to be compliant with any State or Jurisdictional requirements for employers.
Under the ETS, employers would be required to develop, implement, and enforce a workplace COVID-19 vaccination policy. Employees will need to receive their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (be “fully vaccinated”) by the deadline, or if they choose not to, they are required to wear face coverings in the workplace & undergo weekly testing for COVID-19. Additionally, this ETS preempts less-protective state and local laws.
Here’s what employers are required to do under the ETS:
- Develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy.
- Keep records of your employee’s vaccination status and track weekly testing of unvaccinated employees.
- Support vaccination by allowing paid time off to receive the vaccine or to recover from any side effects that occur after receiving the vaccine.
- Enforce weekly testing or require an employee to test negative within 7 days of returning to the workplace.
- If a vaccinated or non-vaccinated employee tests positive, immediately remove them from the workplace, until your policy criteria is met.
- All unvaccinated employees must always wear face coverings in a workplace setting.
- Report work-related COVID-19 fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours of learning about them, and any COVID-19 related hospitalizations within 24 hours of learning about the hospitalization.
Important!! Check out OHSA’s FAQs often, they are constantly adding helpful information.
Compliance & Penalties
All employers need to have a vaccine and testing policy to clarify whether the employer is mandating a vaccine, or if the employer does not mandate the vaccine – outline the company’s policy on mask wearing, social distancing, and weekly testing requirements (and who pays for the testing).
OSHA plans to have programed or planned inspections, where agents go onsite to check that the business is in compliance with the mandate. For what OSHA refers to as willful penalties, the standard penalty is $13,653 for a single violation and the number would increase if there are multiple violations at a business and penalties can be up to $136,532.
Note: This blog is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Contact a labor attorney with any questions about the use and enforcement of vaccine mandates.
Efficient Hire has Released a New Feature to Help Employers Track COVID-19 Vaccines & Testing
Why is this important?
This new feature automates the tracking and related document storage of employee COVID-19 vaccination and testing. When it’s time to show provide proof of compliance with any State, Federal, or Company Policy requirements, you’ll have access to all the data in Efficient Hire. Watch a short video here.
How does it work?
This is a new feature that is available in Efficient Hire Onboarding – here’s a quick overview:
- During onboarding we will gather all COVID-19 information for Vaccinations, Testing, Boosters, and Exemptions – applicable to the employee
- Employees will be required to review and e-sign your COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
- A dashboard with filters will allow the admin or manager to manage employee records, including the ability to upload verified documents
- Track weekly testing for unvaccinated employees and ongoing weekly testing email reminders are automatically sent to unvaccinated employees
A few things to think about if your Company is putting vaccine tracking or testing tracking in place:
- Start planning – what is your Policy? SHRM has some good info.
- Be clear about expectations
- Be ready for religious and medical accommodation requests
- Be ready to track!
We are excited to launch this new feature to help employers gain efficiency and stay in compliance with vaccination and testing mandates. If you are a large employer and concerned about how you will manage compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, reach out to our sales team for more information today!