Posted By: Envision2bWell
On November 4, 2021, the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) issued a new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that requires employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees are either fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, or that they get tested for COVID-19 every week. OHSA filed the guidelines with the Federal Register on November 4th and they became official when it was published on November 5, 2021.
Here are the key points of the vaccine mandate for private employers with 100+ employees:
- Employers must develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy OR develop, implement, and enforce a policy allowing employees to elect to undergo COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.
- Employers must obtain proof and maintain records of employee’s vaccination status and/or testing results.
- Employers must support vaccination by providing paid time off to receive the vaccine as well as paid sick leave to recover from each vaccination dose if needed.
- Employers must ensure that employees who are not vaccinated are tested weekly for COVID-19.
- Employers must require employees to promptly provide notice of a positive COVID-19 test and immediately remove them from the workplace regardless of vaccination status.
- Employers must provide each employee with information (in a language and literacy level they can understand) about the requirements, policies, and procedures for the ETS, as well as vaccine efficacy, safety and benefits, protections against retaliation and discrimination, and the laws and penalties for knowingly supplying false statements or documentation.
- Employers must report work-related COVID-19 fatalities to OHSA within eight hours of learning about them. They must report work-related COVID-19 in-patient hospitalizations within twenty-four hours of learning about them.
- Employers must comply with most of the provisions in terms of policy, implementation, and communication by 30 days after the publication on Nov. 5, 2021.
- Employers must comply with the testing requirement by 60 days after the date of the publication (Jan. 4, 2022).
All COVID-19 policies, from the emergency shut down in 2020 forward, have been hot button issues in our country. Considering the profound effect these policies have on our lives, this is to be expected. The new ETS for employers with 100+ employees is no different. There are many emotions and strong opinions on all sides. The challenge for employers is to lead their companies through it all in the best way possible for all involved. But how?
While the policy mandates are relatively straight forward, how exactly they are communicated and implemented is entirely up to the leaders of the organization. Moreover, how they handle complications and issues that arise from the mandates is also up to the leaders, within the parameters of what is already set forth in the ETS of course.
The truth is, there is no clear and set answer to the question of how to lead your company through this. Every organization is different – employees are different, geographical location is different, workplace culture is different, etc. The only way for leaders to successfully navigate through this is to have a clear understanding of where their employees are – their needs, feelings, stressors, issues, and more. Only once they are armed with that knowledge can they make the best possible decisions for all involved.
Envision2bWell’s KSAA® Workplace Wellness Assessment can help employers gain clarity about how their employees really feel about the mandate, including any reservations, confusion, and stress points. Employers will also gain insight into the overall engagement, satisfaction, and well-being of their employees. The KSAA® Assessment will provide the data that tells the story of how their employees experience – and are impacted by – the company in the following eight areas: Physical Health, Emotional Health, Social Connections, Financial Health, Education/Training, Life/Work Balance, Company Mission, and 360° Well-Being®.
Contact us today to learn more about the KSAA® Workplace Wellness Assessment and how it can help you lead your organization through the vaccine mandate.
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