OSHA COVID-19 ETS Determination of Employee Vaccination Status

On Nov. 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a federal emergency temporary standard (ETS) to address the grave danger of COVID-19 infection in the workplace. Affected employers will be required to comply with most provisions of the ETS by Dec. 6, 2021, and with its testing requirements by Jan. 4, 2022. Affected employers include private employers with 100 or more employees (firmwide or companywide count). The ETS requires employers to be aware of each employee’s vaccination status. Effective implementation and enforcement of a written vaccination policy also require employers to know the vaccination status of all their employees. Knowing each employee’s vaccination status is necessary in order to ensure that the vaccination, testing and face-covering requirements of the standard are met. As such, the ETS includes provisions for determining each employee’s vaccination status. This compliance bulletin covers ETS guidance and requirements employers must follow to determine their employees’ vaccination status.

Action Steps

Employers should review, understand and implement the ETS requirements for determining employee vaccination status. Employers should also include these requirements in their mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies.


Fully vaccinated means:

  • A person’s status two weeks after completing primary vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine with, if applicable, at least the minimum recommended interval between doses in accordance with the approval, authorization or listing; or
  • A person’s status two weeks after receiving the second dose of any combination of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved or authorized by the FDA, or listed as a two-dose series by the World Health Organization (WHO).


  • Nov. 5, 2021 – ETS effective date.
  • Dec. 6, 2021 – Compliance date for most ETS provisions.
  • Jan. 4, 2022 – Compliance date for ETS testing requirement.

Employee Vaccination Status Provisions

Employers must know each employee’s vaccination status in order to ensure that the vaccination, testing and face covering requirements of the standard are met. The standard requires employers to determine the vaccination status of each employee and to also:

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