On November 4, President Biden announced the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is issuing a COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to require employers with 100 or more employees require vaccination by January 4th, 2022 and require unvaccinated employees to produce a negative test on at least a weekly basis. Companies that fail to comply with the rule may be subject to fines.
According to OSHA’s new requirements, workers are considered fully vaccinated if they’ve received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Companies must provide paid-time off for their employees to get vaccinated and sick leave for side effects as needed.
Employers must ensure that any employees who have not received the necessary shots begin producing a verified negative test to their employer on at least a weekly basis, and they 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. Employers must also ensure that unvaccinated employees wear a face mask while in the workplace.
The ETS lays out the wide variety of tests that comply with the standard and does not require employers to provide or pay for tests. Employers may be required to pay for testing because of other laws or collective bargaining agreements.
Additionally, President Biden announced the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is requiring workers at health care facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid to have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4th. The rule applies to employees regardless of whether their positions are clinical or non-clinical and includes employees, students, trainees, and volunteers who work at a covered facility that receives federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid. It also includes individuals who provide treatment or other services for the facility under contract or other arrangements.
Among the facility types covered by the rule are hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis facilities, home health agencies, and long-term care facilities.
Should you have any questions, please contact Hilary Chebra, Manager of Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.