September 9, 2021, President Biden released a Covid-19 action plan outlining a six-point strategy that is “to ensure we are using every available tool to combat Covid-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead”. We are unsure of when the plan will be finalized, so more details to come. The following are the highlighted two requirements under the “Vaccinating the Unvaccinated” section of the this new plan that will impact employers directly.
OSHA is creating a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to provide a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.
OSHA will issue Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. Federal law requires insurers to fully cover Covid tests when ordered by a health care provider. However, routine workplace tests are exempt from that provision, it is unclear as of now, who will responsible for the costs of these tests.
Most likely, legal challenges will be made, so this most likely take months before this is implemented.
OSHA also is planning to levy big fines per violation against those who do not comply.
There is also a rule being developed to require employers with 100 or more employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes the get vaccinated or to recover if they are not feeling well due to the vaccine.
We will continue to provide updates and alerts as they become available. Please contact MBA for more information.