• Employers with more than 100 employees will need to implement a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for their employees — and offer a weekly testing alternative to those who refuse or are unable to receive a vaccine — by Jan. 4, 2022, according to an emergency temporary standard (ETS) issued Thursday by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
• In determining whether they meet the 100-employees threshold, employers must include all employees across all of their U.S. locations, regardless of employees' vaccination status or where they perform their work, per the ETS. Part-time employees do count towards the company total, but independent contractors do not. Additional sections of the ETS detail how the threshold should be determined in situations involving franchisees, multi-employer workplaces and staffing agencies.
• All covered employers are required by the ETS to bear the cost of providing up to four hours of paid time and reasonable paid sick leave needed to support vaccination, but where an employee chooses to remain unvaccinated, the ETS does not require employers to pay for the costs associated with regular COVID-19 testing or the use of face coverings. Some employees may be entitled to reasonable accommodation from their employer, absent undue hardship, due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief. Stakeholders have until 30 days after the date of the rule's publication to submit public comments.
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