OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing: Emergency Temporary Standard applies to businesses with 100 employees or more (this counts seasonal, temporary, and employees who work from home but not independent contractors). The new protocol must be in place by Jan 4, 2022 and is summarized below:
  • If employee is not vaccinated, must be tested weekly and wear a mask. Employee can be charged for the tests.
  • Employers must accept vaccine exemptions for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs, but those employees must be tested weekly and wear masks.
  • Employers must keep a record of each COVID test result for unvaccinated employees and these are considered confidential medical records. These must be maintained as long as the ETS is in effect.
  • BinaxNow tests are allowed.
  • Employees must be compensated for 4 hours to get each dose of the vaccine and “reasonable” time to recover from any side effects. Employers can require that PTO be used first for the recovery time, but not for the vaccinations.
  • If employees work exclusively from home or outdoors, then they do go in the 100 employee count, but may be exempt from these orders.
  • Employees must tell employers if they test positive for COVID and they must be removed from the work premises. The employer does not have to pay for this time away from work.
  • Employers must keep a roster of all employees and their vaccination status and there is a list of acceptable ways to prove this status to the employer. These are considered confidential medical records and must be maintained as long as the ETS is in effect
According to OSHA, this mandate pre-empts all other state and local orders on this topic. They anticipate this ruling lasting six months. The fine is listed as up to $14,000 per violation.
Here is the OSHA ETC FAQs page for your reading pleasure.