Overview of OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”)

Who must comply with OSHA’s ETS:

  • The 100-employee threshold is based upon a companywide headcount rather than the number of employees at a particular worksite. Employers should count all employees individually, whether they are full time, part time or working on a temporary basis.
  • The standard does not apply to workplaces covered under the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors or in settings where employees provide healthcare services or healthcare support services subject to the requirements of the Healthcare ETS.
  • The standard also does not apply to employees who work remotely or employees who work exclusively outdoors.

Requirements and Deadlines:

  • December 5, 2021: Employers must begin providing paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and require masking for unvaccinated employees while in the workplace.
  • January 4, 2022: Employers must ensure employees are vaccinated and require unvaccinated employees to produce a negative test on a weekly basis. Employers must remove from the workplace any employee who receives a positive COVID-19 test or is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed health care provider.
  • The ETS does not require employers to provide or pay for employee testing.
  • Employers are required to provide paid time off for their employees to get vaccinated and, if needed, sick leave to recover from side effects experienced that keep them from working.

While the ETS is effective immediately, OSHA is currently taking public comment. The ETS may only be valid for six (6) months. At the end of six (6) months, OSHA must publish a Final Rule. The full ETS document can be viewed at https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-23643.pdf

If you have questions regarding the ETS, please contact HR Partners at 785-233-7860.

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