On Sept. 9th, President Biden revealed a new COVID-19 Action Plan with one of several key goals to “Vaccinate the Unvaccinated.” The most notable aspect of that plan is a directive to federal OSHA to develop a 2nd COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, this time requiring all but small employers in all industries to implement “soft” vaccine mandates; i.e., to require employees to either be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. The President also directed OSHA to include in this new emergency rule a requirement that employers provide paid time for employees to get vaccinated and to recover from any ill effects of the vaccines. Separately, the President issued Executive Orders setting “hard” vaccine mandates for federal contractors and healthcare workers.
The President’s announcement was lean on details, and prompted as many questions as it answered. Join Eric Conn, Chair of Conn Maciel Carey LLP’s national OSHA Practice Group, to talk through these and other burning questions raised by these latest developments for employers on the COVID-19 front:
- What will OSHA’s new COVID-19 emergency rule require?
- Which employers (and which of their employees) will be covered by the rule?
- Who (employers or employees) will be required to pay for weekly testing of unvaccinated workers?
- When will the new ETS be issued?
- What records will be needed to verify vaccination and testing status, and how long will we need to keep them?