On September 9, 2021, an Executive Order from President Joe Biden was issued, requiring all US employers with 100 or more employees to require COVID-19 vaccinations or a weekly negative test result before coming to work. This is all available in the Path Out of the Pandemic, the White House’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
Vaccination or Weekly Testing Requirement
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. This requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100+ employees.
Bolton comment: experts anticipate it will take Fed OSHA 2-4 weeks to issue a new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Historically, there has been a 30-45 day grace period before enforcement begins. This means we don’t expect enforcement to begin any sooner than November 1, 2021.
- Disclaimer: Employers should remain diligent in receiving the most up-to-date information as the timeline is speculative. Additionally, the order left many questions unanswered which we hope will be addressed in the language of the Fed OSHA ETS.
Paid Time Off for Vaccinations
To continue efforts to ensure that no worker loses a dollar of pay because they get vaccinated, OSHA is developing a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. This requirement will be implemented through the ETS.
In addition, Biden will announce that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings and home health agencies.
Additional Requirements for Federal Workers/Contractors
Further, the President also will unveil an executive order that requires all federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This step expands on the President’s July requirement that provided regular testing as an acceptable option to vaccination.
This alert provided by Guardian HR Compliance by Benefit Comply. For more information on employer HR compliance support please visit https://benefitcomply.com/hr-support/.
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