OSHA to 100+ Employers: Mandatory Vaccination Policy
Small Employers Response: We'll Take Your Workers
OSHA on November 4, 2021, released (here >>) what it calls an "emergency temporary standard to protect [unvaccinated] workers from coronavirus." The standard calls on employers of 100+ individuals (firm or company wide) to prepare for an effective date of January 1 to:
- "develop, implement and enforce" a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy that employees must either be:
- vaccinated or
- wear a mask and undergo at least weekly COVID testing, if the employee is at work at least once a week or within 7 days of returning to work
- the employer does not need to pay for testing or face coverings
- provide paid time for vaccination plus side effects from doing so
- collect proof of vaccination and maintain a roster of vaccination status
- require employee notification of positive testing for COVID and remove that employee from the workforce, only returning when meeting criteria
What Employers Are Saying
The topic of mandatory vaccinations came up in several conversations with businesses this week, with all focusing on the challenge to find a workforce and the mandate not helping:
- One of the Region's Largest Employers: Our number one problem as we grow is finding the workforce. This will not help.
- A medium-size employer: I have 11 positions right now I'm trying to fill and at least six of my employees who are not vaccinated.
- I'm a small employer, I'll gladly take your people who are not vaccinated.
An individual expressed feeling like she has a gun to her head and will be publicly shamed as unvaccinated due to wearing a mask.