This month's HR Brief newsletter discusses OSHA's vaccination and testing mandate, the release of 2021 ACA reporting forms, explains what happens when an employee misses enrollment and offers tips to attract part-time workers.
OSHA Releases Vaccination and Testing ETS
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently 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. 6, 2021, and with its testing requirements by Jan. 4, 2022. Affected employers include private employers with 100 or more employees (firmwide or companywide count). State plans will have 30 days to adopt the federal ETS or implement their own vaccination standard.
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 also determine the vaccination status of each employee, obtain acceptable proof of vaccination, and keep a roster of each employee’s vaccination 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 or other agreements.
Paid Leave Requirements
Employers are required to allow reasonable time—including up to four hours of paid time—for employees to receive a primary vaccination dose. Reasonable time and paid sick leave are also required to be provided to recover from any side effects of the vaccination.
At this time, employers should review eligibility and requirements for the ETS. Affected employers must develop, implement and enforce a COVID-19 vaccination policy that complies with the ETS.
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