OSHA Issues COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On November 5, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard.

The ETS applies to private sector employers with 100 or more employees throughout their company.

The ETS requires employers to:

  • develop, implement, and enforce mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies or vaccination-or-testing policies;
  • determine and keep a roster of the vaccination status of all employees and obtain and maintain proof of vaccination;
  • provide paid time off to employees to obtain the vaccine and recover from adverse side effects;
  • ensure all unvaccinated employees are tested at least weekly;
  • require prompt notification of a positive COVID-19 test or COVID-19 diagnosis and immediately remove those employees from the workplace until they meet return to work criteria;
  • ensure all unvaccinated employees wear a face covering when indoors or occupying a vehicle with another employee;
  • provide all employees with specific information related to COVID-19, vaccinations, the company’s workplace policies, etc;
  • report COVID-19 fatalities and hospitalizations to OSHA; and
  • make certain vaccination information and records available to employees or their representatives.

Employers are required to comply with the vaccination or testing requirements by January 4 but all other requirements by December 4. The ETS preempts state and local laws, including those that ban vaccination mandates.

CWS plans to file comments on the ETS.