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Compliance Connection- November 2021 Part I

November 1, 2021

Federal Compliance Update – OSHA MANDATE

OSHA Releases Vaccination and Testing ETS 

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. 5, 2021, and with its testing requirements by Jan. 4, 2022. Affected  employers include private employers with 100 or more employees (firm- or company-wide count). State plans will have 30  days to adopt the federal ETS or implement their own vaccination standard. 

ETS Requirements 

The ETS requires employers to: 

• Develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy; or 

• Create a policy allowing employees to choose to get a vaccination or wear a face covering in the workplace and have  weekly COVID-19 testing done. 

Employers must determine the vaccination status of each employee, obtain acceptable proof of vaccination and keep a roster  of each employee’s vaccinations status. 

Weekly Testing Requirements 

Employees who are not fully vaccinated must be tested weekly or within seven days before returning to work. The ETS does  not require employers to pay for any costs associated with testing. However, employer payment for testing may be required by  other laws, regulations, collective bargaining agreements or other collectively negotiated agreements. 

Paid Leave 

Employers are also required to allow reasonable time—including up to four hours of paid time—to receive a primary  vaccination dose. Reasonable time and paid sick leave are also required to recover from any side effects of the vaccination.  Employees are required to provide immediate notice of a positive COVID-19 test or diagnosis and will be removed  immediately from work until return-to-work criteria are met. 

ETS Exemptions 

The requirements of the ETS do not apply to: 

• Employees who do not work with other individuals present; 

• Employees when they are working from home;  

• Employees who work exclusively outdoors;

• Those covered under the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force; 

• Those covered by the health care ETS;  

• Employers that have fewer than 100 employees; and 

• Public employers in states without State plans. 

Affected employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.


Disclaimer:

Lighthouse HR Support (LHRS) provides practical human resource information and guidance based upon our knowledge and experience in the industry and with our clients. LHRS services are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. LHRS services are designed to provide general information to human resources and/or business professionals regarding human resource concerns commonly encountered. Given the changing nature of federal, state and local legislation and the changing nature of court decisions, LHRS cannot and will not guarantee that the information is completely current or accurate. LHRS services do not include or constitute legal, business, international, regulatory, insurance, tax or financial advice. Use of our services, whether by phone, email or in person shall indicate your acceptance of this knowledge.

Written By:

Kelly Murphy

Kelly Murphy

HR Business Partner

Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge with nearly 30 years of human resource experience. She provides expertise in various human resource categories, including employee relations, performance management, HR Form creation/review (employee handbooks, job descriptions, etc.), employee/management training, workplace investigations, etc. Her human resource certifications include PHR (Professional Human Resources) and SHRM-PC (Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional). 

Kelly attended Colorado Mesa University and Waldorf University, where she earned a degree in Human Resource Management and Business Administration with Summa Cum Laude honors. She was named Western Colorado Human Resource Association Professional of the Year, 2013, and currently serves on the Board of Directors. She also is a member of the WCHRA Skills Development Committee, the WCCA Education Committee, and the Members/Events Committee. She serves as an Ambassador for both the Fruita and Palisade Chamber of Commerce.