Vaccination Mandate Set for January 4

The Biden Administration’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last week released its long-awaited COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The ETS applies to businesses with at least 100 employees and is expected to cover 84 million people.

The mandate requires businesses to implement vaccine requirements and/or weekly testing and mask wearing options by January 4, 2022. The new guidance requires employers to provide paid time off to workers to get vaccinated and paid leave to employees to recover from any side effects of the vaccine.

In a stakeholder briefing hosted by the White House, OSHA officials stated that temporary or seasonal employees will be counted towards the 100-person threshold. One notable exemption to the mandate is for employees who work exclusively outdoors.

OSHA will have programmed or planned inspections to assess workplace compliance. The standard penalty for a single violation is $13,653 and the number will increase if there are multiple violations in a workplace. Willful violations of any workplace requirements could result in a company fine of $136,532.  

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