OSHA emergency temporary standard requires COVID vaccine or weekly testing in the workplace Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, November 09, 2021 05:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) with the goal of curbing the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. The standard applies to employers with 100 or more employees, and compliance is required by January 4, 2022.

Under the ETS, affected employers must require COVID-19 vaccines for employees or conduct regular COVID testing of unvaccinated employees. The ETS also mandates masks in the workplace for unvaccinated employees.

According to the White House, the ETS requires that employers: “get their employees vaccinated by January 4th and require unvaccinated employees to produce a negative test on at least a weekly basis;” offer paid time off for employees to receive the vaccine and recover from any effects of the vaccine; require that face coverings be worn by unvaccinated employees; and record and report compliance with the ETS.

For employers with seasonal workers, the standard applies if an employer reaches 100 employees while the ETS is in effect. For example, the ETS may not apply to a landscape company with just 20 employees on January 4, 2022. But if the ETS is still in effect when an employer hires staff in the spring for the season and reaches 100 or more employees, then the employer must be in compliance from that point forward.

There have already been lawsuits filed in response to the ETS, and it is expected that the Biden Administration is preparing to vigorously defend the standard.

Andrew Bray of the National Association of Landscape Providers attended an information webinar with OSHA regarding the ETS and offered a report on the standard and how it may affect landscape industry employers. Read his findings in this document.

Read the OSHA fact sheet about the ETS

OSHA FAQs about the ETS