As we reported immediately after OSHA released its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) this morning on the COVID vaccine, the rule does not include an express exemption for commercial drivers. However, the rule does exempt employees who work 100% alone or outdoors, so long as their indoor contact with other employees or customers is minimal (e.g., using a restroom or briefly visiting an administrative office). In our view, that exemption covers much of the commercial driver population, but as with any complex new rule, it is impossible to be certain how OSHA will apply it until they issue guidance or begin enforcement. We will seek clarification whether commercial drivers are generally exempt under this provision. We remain prepared to seek judicial review of the rule.

We have updated our toolkit that includes frequently asked questions.  We will keep you updated.

White House Vaccine Mandate- UPDATE

This morning the White House announced details of two major vaccination policies.  First, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is announcing the details of a requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis.

The OSHA rule will also require that these employers provide paid-time for employees to get vaccinated, and ensure all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask in the workplace. This rule will cover 84 million employees. To read the announcement with full details on policies CLICK HERE 

New Vaccination Requirement for Employers With 100 or More Employees: 

Get Their Employees Vaccinated by January 4th and Require Unvaccinated Employees to Produce a Negative Test on at Least a Weekly Basis: All covered employers must ensure that their employees have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4th.

After that, all covered employers must ensure that any employees who have not received the necessary shots begin producing a verified negative test to their employer on at least a weekly basis, and they must remove from the workplace any employee who receives a positive COVID-19 test or is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed health care provider.

The ETS does not require employers to provide or pay for tests. Employers may be required to pay for testing because of other laws or collective bargaining agreements.

Pay Employees for the Time it Takes to Get Vaccinated: All covered employers are required to provide paid-time for their employees to get vaccinated and, if needed, sick leave to recover from side effects experienced that keep them from working.

Ensure All Unvaccinated Employees are Masked: All covered employers must ensure that unvaccinated employees wear a face mask while in the workplace.

Other Requirements and Compliance Date: Employers are subject to requirements for reporting and recordkeeping that are spelled out in the detailed OSHA materials available here. While the testing requirement for unvaccinated workers will begin after January 4th, employers must be in compliance with all other requirements – such as providing paid-time for employees to get vaccinated and masking for unvaccinated workers – on December 5th. The Administration is calling on all employers to step up and make these changes as quickly as possible.  Source:  ATA