OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Standard Released

Earlier today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its much-anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing. The ETS, which will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, is currently available here and additional OSHA guidance and resources are available here.

The ETS clocks in at 490 pages, which we are digesting. Some of the initial highlights appear to be:

  • Application to most private employers with 100 or more employees
  • Required vaccination or testing for most employees
  • Effective dates of December 5, 2021 (for all aspects other than testing), and January 4, 2022 for employees to be fully vaccinated or submit to testing
  • Employers are not required to pay for testing under the ETS
  • Medical and religious exemptions from vaccination are permitted
  • Required paid time off for employees to receive vaccination and recover from side effects
  • Detailed recordkeeping and policy requirements
  • A 30-day public comment period on the ETS

Of course, there is much more.At the same time as covered employers rush to understand and comply with the requirements of this ETS, we expect to see legal challenges by many states seeking to block its implementation. We will continue to review the ETS and monitor applicable guidance and lawsuits, and will issue updated alerts as appropriate.

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