On November 4, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an emergency temporary standard (ETS) addressing employer obligations to ensure that employees have received COVID-19 vaccinations. The ETS requirements apply only to those employers with more than 100 employees. Highlights from the ETS include:
- Affected employees must be vaccinated by January 4.
- Employers must give employees paid time off, as necessary, to get vaccinated.
- Unvaccinated employees are required to wear a mask while on the job beginning December 5.
- Employees not willing to be vaccinated must produce a negative COVID test weekly.
- Employers will not be obliged to pay for weekly testing for unvaccinated employees, unless otherwise required to do so by state law or collective bargaining agreements. As the vaccinations are free, OSHA does not believe employers should have to fund the weekly testing.
- Employers will have to keep records to verify the vaccination status of employees.