The Biden administration identified January 4 as the deadline for employers over 100 employees to mandate coronavirus vaccinations or start weekly testing of their workers.
In November, OSHA approved COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). On December 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dissolved the Fifth Circuits stay. This means that OSHA will be moving forward with the ETS.
Districts will need to implement the requirements of the ETS before January 10. The testing requirements of the ETS will need to be implemented before Feb. 9th. The OSHA website webpage has been updated, and the FAQ is especially helpful. A recorded webinar is available with all the updates since the stay was dissolved. You’re invited to attend live informational webinars on January 4 at 11:00 am or January 7 at 10 am. You can register at http://www.dli.mn.gov/updates.
**Original article published November 5, 2021**
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) have been published. The ETS requires all employers with 100 or more employees ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require those who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis. Because Minnesota has a State Plan, employers must follow the ETS. For more information on ETS, visit OSHA’s official website.
Key Timelines for School Districts
By December 5, 2021, employers must:
- Establish policy on vaccination
- Determine vaccination status of each employee, obtain acceptable proof of vaccination, maintain records and roster of vaccination status
- Provide support for employee vaccination
- Require employees to promptly provide notice of positive COVID-19 test or COVID-19 diagnosis
- Remove any employee who received positive COVID-19 test or COVID-19 diagnosis
- Ensure employees who are not fully vaccinated wear face coverings when indoors or when occupying a vehicle with another person for work purposes
- Provide each employee information about the ETS; workplace policies and procedures; vaccination efficacy, safety and benefits; protections against retaliation and discrimination; and laws that provide for criminal penalties for knowingly supplying false documentation
- Report work-related COVID-19 fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours and work-related COVID-19 in-patient hospitalizations within 24 hours
- Make certain records available
By January 4, 2022, employers must:
- Ensure employees who are not fully vaccinated are 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)
Additional Key points
- Employers must remove an employee who tests positive for COVID-19 from the workplace, regardless of vaccination status; employers must not allow them to return to work until they meet required criteria.
- Ensure each worker who is not fully vaccinated is tested for COVID-19 at least weekly.
- For a single corporate entity with multiple locations, all employees at all locations are counted. In other words, districts with multiple buildings need to count all employees.
- Independent contractors do not count towards the total number of employees.
- Part-time employees do count towards the total number of employees.
- Employers are required to support COVID-19 vaccination for each employee by providing reasonable time to each employee during work hours for each of their primary vaccination dose(s), including up to four hours of paid time, at the employee’s regular rate of pay, for the purposes of vaccination.
- OSHA anticipates that the ETS will be in effect for six months from the date of publication in the Federal Register.
MREA will provide updates as they are available. For further information, check out these Frequently Asked Questions.