Federal Mandatory Vaccine Requirements For Employers with 100+
On Nov. 6, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued a stay temporarily blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's new COVID-19 vaccination-or-testing policy for businesses with at least 100 employees companywide. The Department of Labor's chief legal officer said in response, "We are fully prepared to defend this standard in court."
Deadline is Jan. 4: The first rule, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), covers companies with 100 or more employees and applies to an estimated 84 million workers. Companies must ensure either that their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or that they test negative for the coronavirus at least once a week.
Workers must get paid time off to get vaccinated: Under the OSHA rule, employers must pay workers for the time it takes to get vaccinated and provide sick leave for workers to recover from any side effects.
Employers don't need to pay for testing: In a move that appears designed to push workers to choose vaccinations over-testing, the rule does not require employers to pay for or provide testing to workers who decline the vaccine. However, collective bargaining agreements or other circumstances may dictate otherwise.
Unvaccinated people must wear masks: Unvaccinated workers must also wear face coverings while on the job. This requirement goes into effect on Dec. 5.
Health care workers don't have a testing option under a separate rule: A second rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires some 17 million health care workers to be vaccinated by the same deadline, Jan. 4, but with no option for weekly testing in lieu of vaccination. The rule covers all employees — clinical and nonclinical — at about 76,000 health care facilities that receive federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid.
Earlier, Biden had ordered federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated, with no testing option. Federal workers have until Nov. 22 to get the shots, while federal contractors have until Jan. 4.Other Resources:
What do mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements under the Path Out of the Pandemic plan mean for employers? by the SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management
Fact Sheet: Biden Administration Announces Details
by the White House
Department of Labor: OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing Emergency Temporary Standard FAQ's