COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing ETS
OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard
On January 13, the United States Supreme Court blocked enforcement of the OSHA Vaccine and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).
In addition, on January 26, OSHA withdrew the ETS as a Temporary Standard but continues to propose vaccination and testing as a permanent standard. Stay tuned.
On November 4, 2021, OSHA published a COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).
This standard covered all private companies with over 100 employees. This includes all printers with at least 100 employees.
What Should You Do?
As of right now, your best course of action is to work on the administrative obligations of the ETS.
What Should Employers Do?
PIM Recommends the following conservative approach:
- Create a Vaccination Roster – Survey all employees to determine and document vaccination status.
- Develop a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – Remember this is recommended but not required right now.
- Employees should report positive COVID-19 tests
- Positive COVID-19 employees cannot enter workplace
- Paid leave for employees to get vaccinated
- Consider vaccine incentives that comply with EEOC
- Determine whether you will develop a mandatory vaccination policy or a vaccination and testing policy that complies with EEOC and ADA.
- Conduct training for your managers to deliver information about your policy.
What did the ETS require employers to do?
- Develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, download the sample mandatory vaccination policy OR establish, implement, and enforce a policy allowing employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at the workplace, download the sample employee choice policy.
- Vaccination Status
- Determine the vaccination status of each employee,
- Obtain acceptable proof of vaccination from vaccinated employees,
- Maintain records of each employee’s vaccination status, and
- Maintain a roster of each employee’s vaccination status.
- Support vaccination by providing employees reasonable time, including up to four hours of paid time, to receive each primary vaccination dose. Also provide reasonable time and paid sick leave to recover from any side effects experienced following each primary vaccination dose.
- Ensure that each employee who is not fully vaccinated is tested for COVID-19 at least weekly (if in the workplace at least once a week) or within 7 days before returning to work (if away from the workplace for a week or longer).
- Require employees to promptly provide notice when they receive a positive COVID-19 test or are diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Immediately remove from the workplace any employee, regardless of vaccination status, who received a positive COVID-19 test or diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider. The employee must stay out of the workplace until return to work criteria are met.
- Ensure that each employee who is not fully vaccinated wears a face covering when indoors or when occupying a vehicle with another person for work purposes, except in certain limited circumstances.
- Provide each employee with information with information about the requirements of the ETS. This must be in a language and at a literacy level the employee understands. Information must include workplace policies and procedures established to implement the ETS; vaccine efficacy, safety, and the benefits of being vaccinated (by providing the CDC document “Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines”); protections against retaliation and discrimination; and laws that provide for criminal penalties for knowingly supplying false statements or documentation.
- Report work-related COVID-19 fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours of learning about them, and work-related COVID-19 in-patient hospitalizations within 24 hours of the employer learning about the hospitalization.
- Make certain records available for examination and copying to an employee (and to anyone having written authorized consent of that employee) or an employee representative.
- Lastly, for employers covered under the ETS, they must report work related COVID-19 hospitalizations and fatalities at any time after a workplace exposure. Businesses with less than 100 employees continue to only report work related COVID-19 hospitalizations that occur within 24 hours and work related fatalities that occur within 30 days from the exposure.
When does it take effect?
Currently blocked by the US Supreme Court and withdrawn by OSHA.
January 13, 2022 – Supreme Court Blocks enforcement of the ETS
Isolation and Quarantine Guidance from CDC
On December 27, 2021, CDC updated their isolation and quarantine guidance. This new guidance reduces the length of time an individual may isolate after contracting COVID-19 or quarantine after being exposed.
OSHA’s ETS standard does not reference these new CDC guidelines. Instead, the OSHA ETS references guidelines CDC adopted on February 28, 2021. The ETS
“Printing Industry Midwest and its members commit to promoting vaccinations to ensure our members, customers, and communities remain safe and healthy. Federal vaccine requirements should be flexible enough to ensure we can achieve those goals without undue cost burdens and other potential disruptions. PIM works with the National Association of Manufacturers to share the perspectives and experiences of our community with the administration, as these programs are enacted.”
MNOSHA announced that it will no longer enforce the ETS “pending future developments.”
OSHA intends to make this a permanent standard. Public comment period ended.
OSHA provides extra information on their website. A good place to start is OSHA’s FAQ. OSHA’s Summary Page contains more good information. OSHA also provides a Fact Sheet and a Webinar to provide guidance. You can read the full 154 page ETS on the Federal Register website.