OSHA Moves Forward on Implementing Vaccine Mandate

December 22, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
OSHA Moves Forward on Implementing Vaccine Mandate
COVID-19 vaccination center, fair grounds Cologne, 1st vaccination

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently dissolved the stay of the emergency temporary standard mandating all businesses with 100 or more employees require staff to get fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. 

“OSHA is gratified that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard. OSHA can now once again implement this vital workplace health standard, which will protect the health of workers by mitigating the spread of the unprecedented virus in the workplace,” said a Department of Labor spokesperson, in an email to The Well News.

The ETS was initially set to be enforced by OSHA starting Jan. 4, 2022 but the compliance dates have been revised.

All requirements except the testing will now be enforced by OSHA as of Jan. 10, 2022 and testing requirements will begin to be enforced by Feb. 9, 2022.


According to the spokesperson, to account for any uncertainty created by the stay order, OSHA will provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance. 

“OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before Jan. 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before Feb. 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard,” said the spokesperson. 

The OSHA emergency temporary standard experienced opposition in November when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a temporary stay to block enforcement and implementation.

It also received opposition in the Senate, as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., recently co-sponsored a bill to overturn the ETS through the Congressional Review Act, which allows for disapproval of final rules from federal agencies.


For now, any businesses which do not comply with the order by the dates set could see fines up to $14,000 per violation. 

“OSHA will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance,” said the spokesperson.

To comply with the mandate, employers will be responsible for retaining records of each employee’s vaccination status and ensuring that unvaccinated employees begin wearing face masks when indoors. 

Any employer allowing an unvaccinated employee to undergo weekly testing will have to determine if they will supervise the testing in-house or use a vendor and whether they or the employee will pay for testing.

Employers and employees might also face issues in securing weekly testing services or at-home testing kits. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the omicron variant has led to a greater demand for testing.

The Health and Human Services Department’s Testing and Diagnostic Working Group shared an internal model with Politico reporters which shows the need for more tests in the country. 

The department said that 3 million to 5 million daily tests could be needed by January or February with current daily testing levels around 1.6 million.


In efforts to address a potential shortage in testing kits, the White House on Tuesday announced efforts to secure 500 million at-home test kits and set up a government-run website where Americans can order them for free, along with establishing new testing sites and easier ways to locate them.

Alexa can be reached at [email protected] 

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Business

January 28, 2023
by Dan McCue
The Rise of Contractors Screams Out for a Rethinking of Policy

WASHINGTON — Hard as it may be to believe, a revolution really did take place while we were all inside,... Read More

WASHINGTON — Hard as it may be to believe, a revolution really did take place while we were all inside, hoping the dark, early shadow of COVID-19 would somehow pass us by.  According to Liz Wilke, principal economist with Gusto, a payroll, benefits and HR platform... Read More

January 25, 2023
by Tom Ramstack
Justice Dept. Sues Google Again Alleging Monopolistic Ad Tactics

A Justice Department lawsuit filed Tuesday against Google accuses the internet giant of illegally acting like a monopoly with its... Read More

A Justice Department lawsuit filed Tuesday against Google accuses the internet giant of illegally acting like a monopoly with its digital advertising technology. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Virginia seeks a court order to break up Google’s grip on online advertising sales and to... Read More

January 24, 2023
by Tom Ramstack
Attorneys General Challenge Social Responsibility Policies for Investing

Some state attorneys general are continuing a conservative backlash against investment strategies that emphasize social responsibility with a challenge to... Read More

Some state attorneys general are continuing a conservative backlash against investment strategies that emphasize social responsibility with a challenge to two corporate advisory companies. A letter written last week to the two companies says forcing social responsibility onto investors could be irresponsible, perhaps shortchanging them when... Read More

January 23, 2023
by Dan McCue
EVs Take Center Stage at Washington Auto Show

WASHINGTON — Forget a weeklong vote to get a House speaker, when all is said and done, the biggest news... Read More

WASHINGTON — Forget a weeklong vote to get a House speaker, when all is said and done, the biggest news of the month may well be how electric vehicles dominated center stage at the Washington, D.C., Auto Show. The annual event returned to the Washington Convention... Read More

Elon Musk Depicted as Liar, Visionary in Tesla Tweet Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular... Read More

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular people" or a well-intentioned visionary as attorneys delivered opening statements at a trial focused on a Tesla buyout that never happened. Lawyers on opposing sides drew... Read More

January 5, 2023
by Dan McCue
Offshore Wind Project Nets $24.1M in Tax Incentives

EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. — A project aimed at transforming a warehouse into a support facility for a pending offshore wind... Read More

EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. — A project aimed at transforming a warehouse into a support facility for a pending offshore wind project has netted $24.1 million in tax breaks from the Town of Brookhaven in New York state. The sales, use and real property tax exemptions are... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top