The long-awaited Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) update is here. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) filed the new mandate to the federal registrar at 8:45 this morning. The 450-page document is set to be released to the public tomorrow (November 5, 2021).
What can we expect to be included in this ETS?
Biden clearly laid out his goals for the updated ETS. We can expect that Covid vaccines or weekly testing will be required for businesses that have 100+ employees. Any federal workers or contractors will not have the option to "test out" (aka they are required to get vaccinated and cannot test weekly). Plus, unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear a face mask while on the job. But what rules will be officially mandated in the ETS? We have to wait and see.
What will we be looking for in the ETS?
There are a few questions and gaps that the ETS should answer for the public. Will any employees not get the test-out option? Will businesses be liable for vaccine-related injuries? Will workers get PTO for receiving the vaccine and recovering from any side effects? Who will cover the cost of weekly testing for employees? Will employees have to wear masks? What do the fines look like for businesses that do not comply? How will the government enforce this new standard?
Stay tuned for the release of the ETS tomorrow. In the meantime, please read the following resources on the mandate: