- To help employers comply with temporary emergency standard for COVID-19 vaccination released on November 4Occupational Safety and Health Administration released two sample policies for employers to use: one that establishes a mandatory vaccination policy and another that allows employees to opt in to weekly testing and mask-wearing instead of vaccination.
- The sample policies provide examples of what proof of vaccination may look like as well as the type of documentation required from all employees, regardless of their vaccination status, including statements that an employee does not plan to get vaccinated. The policies also note that employers will be required to collect all information about employees’ vaccination status within 30 days of the publication of the ETS.
- In addition, the policies provide examples of explanations for time off to get vaccinated and recover from vaccination, if employees need it.
Overview of the dive:
The ETS — although already to be challenged by some attorneys general – will require HR departments to act quickly to comply, and attorneys previously said HR Dive that employers probably shouldn’t wait for the challenges to be resolved to do so.
That said, the sample policies provide clarity to HR departments regarding the type of documentation they will need to gather and proof of vaccination that will be accepted in a readable format apart from the 490+ page document behind the ETS. . It also provides guidance on face covering requirements, testing and criteria for returning to work after a positive COVID-19 test.
Additionally, while some workers apply to the 100-worker threshold that makes an employer beholden to the rule, the samples point out that the mandate may not apply individually in all cases, for example:
- Those who do not show up at a place of work where other people such as co-workers or clients or present.
- Those who work from home.
- Those who work exclusively outdoors.
The sample mandatory vaccination policy also highlights that certain employees who would otherwise need a vaccine may be exempted, such as in cases where the vaccine is contraindicated, or when an employee has a disability or a sincere religious belief. which would prevent him from receiving a vaccine.