Federal Vaccine Mandate – Sept. 9, 2021
President Joe Biden unveiled a new “action plan” plan to confront the COVID-19 surge that’s being driven by the spread of the delta variant. The key item affecting industry is a new OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard that will be issued. It will require that:
- All employers with 100 or more employees ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require unvaccinated workers to provide a negative COVID-19 test result at least once per week before coming to work.
- Employers provide paid time off to get vaccinated as well as to recover from vaccination.
When the ETS for this mandate is issued, there will be an opportunity to share comments. The U.S. Chamber is already gathering feedback from industry leaders to share with the Biden Administration. Email issues/questions/feedback to: vaccines@USChamber.com.
About Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)
An Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) can be issued by OSHA when workers are considered in grave danger. An ETS is recorded in the Federal registry, much like a final ruling.
ETS, when issued, takes effect immediately until it is superceded by a permanent standard; a final ruling should be issued within 6 months.
There are 22 states that have their own OSHA-approved State plans. North Carolina is one of those 22 states. These 22 states will have 30 days to show they are in compliance with the ETS.
The U.S. Department of Labor/OSHA will develop a process to give and receive information about this ETS; they’re already working on it.
Paid Leave Tax Credit
The American Rescue Plan includes a tax credit for employers who provide full paid leave to employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination. This includes days employees take off to recover from the vaccination.
- The tax credit is available to organizations with fewer than 500 employees.
- The credit covers up to $511 per day for each vaccinated employee.
- The tax credit is available for wages from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.
Employers can be public health champions!
Officials say the biggest way employers can help with the vaccination process is by sharing accurate information.
About the vaccine:
- Scientists had a head start, and thousands of volunteers helped with the clinical trials.
- The vaccines are tested, safe and effective.
- You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
- Supplies will be limited at first.
- You will have a spot to take your shot.
- Vaccines are free to everyone, even if you don’t have insurance.
- You must get two doses of the same vaccine.
How employers can help:
- Encourage frontline employees to get vaccinated when the vaccine is available to them.
- Share information and resources with your employees. NC DHHS has printable flyers and fact sheets on their website, as well as social media graphics and videos.
- Offer to work with local vaccine providers.
- Consider what type of vaccination model would work best for you and your employees.
- Offer reminders and assistance to your employees to get vaccinated.
Chamber Action Calls with Experts
Follow us on social media @gsochamber – that’s where we share the latest information as we receive it.
Circle of Champions
CT Wilson Construction Co.
Kelly Office Solutions
Staunton Capital, Inc.