On November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services announced their emergency rules on vaccination mandates for certain employers. These new rules will apply to employers with 100 or more employees and most Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers to mandate vaccinations for their employees.
This blog post will explain the emergency rules for both types of businesses and what is required of these businesses before the January 4, 2022 compliance deadline. This is just a very brief overview. If you have specific questions or need help developing your vaccination policy for your business please reach out to us.
· These rules require employers to develop, implement and enforce a written vaccination policy that follows these new emergency rules.
· This requires businesses to keep a record of employees’ vaccination status, proof of vaccination, copies of employees’ COVID-19 test results, and an aggregate number of employees that are fully vaccinated.
· Employers have 30 days from the official publishing of the rule to develop a written vaccination plan.
· For both types of employers the deadline to have employees be fully vaccinated is January 4, 2022.
· Workers are eligible for paid leave to receive their vaccinations and recover from any negative side-effects.
· Employers can face fines for non-compliance that increase for repeat offenses.
· Some employees may be exempt from this requirement due to medical necessity, need for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA or a sincerely held religious belief or practice under Title VII.
100 Employee Threshold
· Employers may choose to require employees to be fully vaccinated or remain unvaccinated. However, unvaccinated employees must be tested every 7 days and wear a face-covering while at work.
· All employees part-time and full-time count toward the 100 employee threshold.
· While all employees count toward the threshold, some employees may be personally exempt from the vaccination requirement. These employees are (1) Those who work in a location where no other employee or customer is present, (2) employees who work exclusively from home, and (3) employees who work primarily outside.
· Independent contractors or temporary employees do not count toward the 100 employee threshold.
Medicare or Medicaid Certified Service Providers or Suppliers
· These health care workers will not have the option to remain unvaccinated and submit weekly tests.
· Employees must receive their first does of the vaccine series by December 5, 2021 and be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.
· Types of facilities include: Hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis facilities, home health care agencies and long-term care facilities
· This applies to workers regardless of whether they have a patient facing role.
This is a general overview of the new requirements and cannot cover all issues arising under these new guidelines. If you have questions on how this will affect your business please reach out to us.
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