Q: What should an employer with 100 or more workers do in response to the recently issued vaccine mandate issued by President Biden?
A: At the current time, employers should wait for additional guidance to be issued by OSHA. The mandate regarding private-sector employers was issued for OSHA to develop an Emergency Temporary Standard, “ETS”, that will require all employers with 100 or more workers to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or test negative every week before entering the workplace.
Until a time frame is announced and the new ETS is released by OSHA, employers should continue to follow OSHA guidelines that have previously been issued. See link to OSHA current guidance on COVID-19 in the workplace: Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)
Because this is an ETS, it will undergo an expedited review process before taking effect and won’t involve solicitation of public comment. The ETS release is expected in the coming weeks. When enforcing the rule, OSHA would have the ability to fine noncomplying businesses up to $14,000 per violation.
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