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November 15, 2021

COVID-19 employer update

COVID-19 Vaccine and testing mandate : Employer Obligations

Affected employers with at least 100 workers (firmwide or companywide) must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 vaccination emergency temporary standard (ETS). This infographic outlines some of the most important obligations employers should be aware of. Throughout this article there are featured links to COVID-19 Policies and Templates listed on the OSHA website.

Per the rule, employers must do one of the following:

OR

Visit osha.gov/coronavirus for more information, or contact legal counsel with any questions related to the vaccination mandate’s specific obligations.

Updated OSHA COVID-19 Reporting Requirements

On Nov. 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) to address COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. Affected employers will be required to comply with most provisions of the ETS by Dec. 6, 2021, and with its testing requirements by Jan. 4, 2022.

The ETS also updates COVID-19 reporting requirements for work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations. Employers can review their COVID-19 recording requirements on OSHA’s website.

On Nov. 6, 2021, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a temporary stay, effectively blocking enforcement of the ETS until a final decision regarding its validity is issued.

Reporting Hospitalizations

OSHA requires employers to report in-patient hospitalizations that are a result of an exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Hospitalizations for diagnostic testing or observation only are not “in-patient” hospitalizations. However, the ETS removes the requirement to report in-patient hospitalization within 24 hours of exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Instead, employers must report in-patient hospitalizations within 24 hours of learning about the hospitalization.

Reporting Fatalities

OSHA requires employers to report fatalities that occur from an exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace. The requirement to report these fatalities is not limited by the length of time between workplace exposure and death, so the 30-day time period no longer applies.

Employers must report COVID-19 fatalities within eight hours of the time the employer learns a work-related fatality has taken place.

Reporting Requirements

  • Employers must report work related COVID 19 fatalities within 8 hours of learning of the fatality regardless of when the exposure in the work environment occurred.
  • Employers must report work related COVID 19 in patient hospitalizations within 24 hours of learning about them, regardless of when the exposure took place.

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