By Kate Devine-Elkins
Update: On January 13, 2022, the
Supreme Court blocked the OSHA vaccine mandate detailed below,
but left in place the mandate for healthcare workers.
See our updated blog post: The
Supreme Court Has Ruled on Vaccine Mandates - Now What?
On November 4, 2021 the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) released its Emergency
Temporary Standard (ETS) regarding vaccine mandates. On the same
day, President Biden’s administration released a fact
sheet giving further details. These rules affect organizations
with 100 or more employees and require them to either ensure their
employees are vaccinated or create a plan for them to be tested at
least on a weekly basis.
The new OSHA regulations around the vaccine mandate answer a
few questions applicable employers have been asking:
When do employers need to start
tracking vaccinations and testing efforts? As
of December 5, 2021, employers must be in compliance with
all regulations other than testing. Weekly testing
requirements must be adhered to by January 4, 2022.
What requirements do employers have to help
get their employees vaccinated? Employers must
provide up to four (4) hours paid time off to receive each
dose of the vaccination and paid sick leave to recover from
any side effects.
bears the cost of testing if employers choose to make
that an option? Employers are not required to pay for
any costs associated with the testing, however they can
voluntarily choose to do so. In some cases there may also be
additional laws, regulations or negotiated agreements that may
require employer payment.
What happens if my organization doesn’t comply with the
OSHA rule? The penalties will follow the standard OSHA
penalties of $13,653 for a single violation or $136,532 for
boosters a part of the current ETS OSHA rule? At
this time the rule only pertains to the initial dose(s) of
requirements are covered? Employers are required
to ensure all unvaccinated employees are masked.
Is there a vaccine requirement for
healthcare workers? CMS (Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services) requires all workers at healthcare
facilities that participate in Medicare or Medicaid to be
fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.
Do Federal Contractors have an updated deadline?
Yes, to keep consistent, the deadline for Federal
Contractors to be fully compliant has been extended to January 4,
What about litigation
against the mandate? While there will likely be
legal challenges, these guidelines supersede any other
applicable state regulations.
There are many companies developing systems to help you track
the vaccination status of your employees. If you don’t currently
have a method in place and are a client of Equifax Workforce
Solutions, a new attestation process will be available through our
State Forms and Compliance Center service. Learn more here
about this offering as well as our entire Compliance
Center™ service that can help you stay on top of your employee documentation.
The information provided is intended as general guidance
and is not intended to convey any tax, benefits, compliance or
legal advice. For information pertaining to your company and its
specific facts and needs, please consult your own tax advisor or
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