On September 9, President Biden issued an Executive Order, announcing that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would soon begin the development of an emergency temporary standard mandating that U.S. companies with more than 100 employees require COVID-19 vaccinations for all staff.  Alternatively, those not willing to be vaccinated would need to produce a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis.

In September, CPA circulated a survey to members to assess the potential impact of such a mandate on member operations.  More than 75% of responding companies do not presently have a vaccine mandate for employees, though several indicated that they have strongly encouraged employees to get vaccinated.   More than 75% of responders reported that a mandate could result in employees deciding to discontinue employment, further exacerbating ongoing labor shortages.  This would also impact mill production, with several responders noting that the mandate may lead to temporary production disruptions, depending on the ultimate impact on mill employment.  The alternative of weekly COVID testing may not pose a significant problem, as almost 60% of responders indicated no local shortage of testing resources.

OSHA continues work on the emergency standard and a number of key details remain unclear, including when the standard may be issued, how much time employers will have to implement the mandate, and whom will be responsible for weekly employee testing, if an employee elects this option in lieu of a vaccine.  CPA appreciates the member participation in the vaccine survey and will continue to monitor and report on this matter as the mandate’s details are released from the administration.   More Info: Andy O’Hare

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