Today, more than 70 percent of Americans are vaccinated against COVID-19. President Biden and his administration continue to take active efforts to close the gap to ensure all Americans are vaccinated.
As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private U.S. companies with at least 100 employees along with supporting guidelines. The vaccine mandate will cover 84 million people employed in the private sector.
Starting January 4, 2022, workers at U.S. companies with at least 100 employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested on a weekly basis. Workers must receive their second shot of Pfizer or Moderna’s two-dose vaccines or a single of Johnson & Johnson by January 4, 2022, or be subjected to weekly testing.
While employers are not required to pay or provide testing for unvaccinated employees, they may be required to do so under local laws or collective bargaining agreements.
In addition, starting December 5, 2021, all qualifying 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 preclude them from working.
As of November 10, 2021, the OSHA guidelines preempt any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing.
Who is exempt?
Employees who work remotely, perform their work exclusively outside, or go to a workplace where other people are not present will not be required to be vaccinated or meet the weekly testing requirements.
However, the traditional religious and disability exemption apply. Click here to learn more about the religious and disability exemptions that apply.