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OSHA’s Vaccination and Testing ETS: How You Can Participate

Emergency Temporary Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19.

The ETS was published on November 5, 2021 and went into effect immediately. Employers must comply with most requirements within 30 days of publication and with certain testing requirements within 60 days of publication.

The ETS also serves as a proposed rule for a permanent standard. OSHA has initiated a 30-day public comment period and is inviting comments on any aspect of the ETS and how to proceed with the rulemaking. The public comments will allow OSHA to gather information, diverse perspectives and technical expertise to help the agency in considering next steps.

OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS requires covered employers to establish, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead establish, implement, and enforce a policy allowing employees to elect to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work instead of vaccination.

The ETS also requires employers to determine employees’ vaccination status and provide reasonable time, including up to 4 hours of paid time, for each employee primary vaccination shot and reasonable time and sick leave for any side effects.

Additionally, the ETS requires employers to remove employees with COVID-19 from the workplace until they meet return to work criteria, provide certain information to employees, and report work-related COVID-19 fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours and work-related in-patient hospitalizations to OSHA within 24 hours.

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