Vaccination requirement for employees
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing requirements for employers and vaccinations as part of a new Temporary Standard. This news became mainstream information on September 9, 2021 with the announcement of the White House administration’s new COVID-19 Action plan.
What does this mean for employers?
According to the National Law Review, OSHA will have new requirements for private businesses employing 100 or more workers. The rule would require these employers to do one of the following:
- Ensure employees are vaccinated
- Require weekly testing of COVID-19 by unvaccinated employees prior to coming to work
This emergency order will affect more than 80 million workers in the private sector businesses. It is still not certain exactly when the OSHA rule will go into effect.
More details about requirements for employers and vaccinations
Previously, the Emergency Temporary Standard had been released only for the healthcare sectors. However, this will be the first standard released for other industries outside of this sector.
OSHA is also developing a rule that will require employers (with more than 100 employees) to pay for the employee’s time off to get vaccinated. In addition, OSHA will include a rule that workers who need to recover from the effects of the vaccination will receive paid time off.
Other likely factors incorporated into the rule will be requiring employers to accommodate employees with medical conditions. It will also provide exemptions for employees with sincerely held religious beliefs.
If you have questions about whether or not the employee’s religious belief is sincerely held, it is wise to consult with an attorney. The same is true for disabilities that could lead to medical exemption. You can find out how to best deal with the issue. Seeking legal help can also help prevent you from being subject to religious or disability discrimination claims.