Last week, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring all employers with at least 100 employees to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. The deadline to comply is January 4, 2022, however over the weekend, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted the vaccine requirement. While the case is being determined, the vaccination, testing and mask requirements for workers that fall under the OSHA rule is on hold. There are currently more than a dozen other challenges to the ETS – and counting. Stay tuned for updates.
The ETS provides covered employers with two pathways for compliance: (1) Require that all employees be vaccinated unless the employee qualifies for a medical or religious exemption (exempt employees must participate in at least once-weekly testing and wear face coverings); or (2) Provide employees with the option/choice of either showing proof of vaccination status or participating in at least once-weekly testing.
The ETS also requires The ETS requires covered employers – regardless of whether they implement a mandatory vaccine policy or the alternative testing approach – to provide up to four hours of paid time to receive each primary dose (excluding any booster doses) of the vaccine, and reasonable paid time for sick leave for side effects. The paid leave program must be included in the required policy.
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Littler is holding a webinar on November 11 to discuss the ETS in detail. Click here to register.