On September 9, 2021, the Biden administration announced that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any unvaccinated employees to produce a weekly negative COVID-19 test result before coming into work. OSHA will implement this requirement through the issuance of an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which ultimately may impact more than 80 million American workers.
The White House also announced that employers subject to the new rule will be required to provide paid time off for the time it takes employees to get vaccinated or to recover if they are “under the weather” post-vaccination.
As of now, OSHA has not provided any further details on this rule. Many outstanding considerations remain, including:
- An estimated date of effect for the rule
- Whether businesses will be required to pay for employee tests
- Whether businesses will be required to provide paid time off for employee testing or whether employee testing will be considered “compensable” working time
- Whether the government will provide tax credits or other funding to offset the costs incurred by employers having to comply with this rule
- What type of tests will be acceptable for the weekly negative results
- The logistics for employers verifying and tracking vaccine status and test results
- Enforcement for the rule
Although this rule is not expected to be implemented for several weeks, Resourcing Edge will begin efforts to support you, our clients, right away. Our Human Resource team has already began analyzing how employers without vaccination policies can implement the new rule, as well as how employers with vaccination policies already in place should review their policies. As guidance is provided by OSHA, we will be prepared to support your efforts in administering the new rule.
It is important to note that this rule might see changes in the courts. Resourcing Edge will closely monitor its progress and keep you up to date with any new information.
Should you have any further questions, please contact your Client Account Manager for support.