COVID-19 Updates Series
Short Bursts of Information for Running Your Business
November 22, 2021
The Hold by the U.S. Court of Appeals Continues the “STAY” on OSHA ETS Mandates
The emergency temporary standard (ETS) mandate requiring private employers with 100 or more employees to require vaccination or weekly testing and masking for their unvaccinated employees has come to a halt until current ligation can be resolved. OSHA has “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS” due to court order. Employers will no longer be required to implement the ETS requirements until further notice, however, it is strongly recommended for employers to have a prepared plan of action in place should the ETS “stay” be lifted.
November 5, 2021
The New Emergency Temporary Standard Will Force Major Changes
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released an emergency temporary standard (ETS) mandating private employers with 100 or more employees to require vaccination or weekly testing and masking for their unvaccinated employees. The ETS will require covered employers to ensure all unvaccinated employees working in-person begin wearing masks by Dec. 5, 2021, and provide a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis beginning Jan. 4, 2022. The ETS defines “fully vaccinated” as receiving all doses required for a primary vaccination. For more details, the OSHA fact sheet is available here and OSHA FAQs are available here. There are many standards that need to be met in order for compliance with steep fines ranging from $13,000 to $125,00 for non-compliance! SDHRC’s team of talented HR consultants is here to help!
September 10, 2021
New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
President Biden announced Thursday he has asked The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to mandate their workforce be fully vaccinated or require any unvaccinated workers to take a COVID test at least once a week. Employers who violate the requirement could face a $14,000 fine per violation. This new mandate is part of a six-pronged plan aimed to aggressively fight COVID-19 and reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans. Biden also signed an executive order requiring all government employees (including employees of contractors who do business with the federal government) to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with no option of being regularly tested to opt-out. The requirement is expected to take effect in the coming weeks and will require employers to provide paid time off for employees to be vaccinated.
August 23, 2021
Full Federal Approval of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine
The US Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older. It is believed that with this approval and the rising of COVID -19 cases due to the Delta variant, more organizations will implement a formal vaccine mandate for all employees. Ultimately, organizations still have the option to decide whether to continue to allow employees the choice to be vaccinated. However, those leaning towards requiring all employees to be vaccinated may soon move forward with the mandate to protect their employees and their business. Many businesses have been adversely affected by this pandemic and with no sign of it being over any time soon, this approval could provide the confidence employers needed to issue a company-wide mandate of the vaccine. Businesses are under immense pressure to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for all employees and are working hard to find effective solutions.
July 29, 2021
Proof of Vaccine or Test
Governor Newsom announced California will soon require all healthcare workers and state employees to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or be subjected to weekly testing. This new mandate will go into effect for all state employees on August 2 and healthcare and congregate facilities will take effect on August 9. In addition, President Biden announced that Federal workers will be required to attest to their coronavirus vaccination status or submit to a series of rigorous safety protocols.
Mask on or Mask Off
The CDC has reversed their guidance and now recommends that regardless of vaccination status, masks should be worn indoors where there is substantial or high transmission. The County of San Diego issued a statement and like the CDC, is now recommending that everyone wear a mask indoors.
CAL/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards
The emergency standards apply to most employers in California not covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard. There are many important requirements from the 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards that remain in effect, such as screening employees prior to entering the workplace (self-checks or employer checks), all employers must document employees vaccine status or all employees should be wearing face masks, employers must provide face coverings to unvaccinated persons and make them available to vaccinated persons upon request, and with some exceptions, all employers and places of employment are required to establish and implement an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP) pursuant to the Emergency Temporary Standards in place for COVID-19.
How SDHRC Can Help
With the ever-changing regulations surrounding COVID-19, we know staying on top of your business can be confusing and stressful. At SDHRC we are here to assist you with guidance surrounding COVID-19, reopening plans, workforce planning, employee relations, and much more. Visit our COVID-19 Resources page for more information surrounding COVID-19 and contact us at email@example.com if you would like to know more or have a specific question. We are always happy to help!”