OSHA Regulations and a Potential New Hiring Trend
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that states that companies with 100 or more employees would need to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated by January 4th, 2021. If the employees are not vaccinated, they would need to test negative for COVID-19 weekly. This includes individuals who are not vaccinated due to a religious or medial exemption. The ETS also states that workers must receive paid time off to become vaccinated. Employers will not need to pay for the weekly testing for unvaccinated workers. Federal workers had until November 22nd to get vaccinated and federal contractors have until January 4th.
Steps for Employers to Take to Ensure Compliance
Enforcement of the OSHA emergency temporary standard will fall on employers. This leaves many companies questioning how to effectively manage vaccination cards and weekly testing. It will be important that employers have proper documentation of employee vaccination cards as well as documentation of negative coronavirus tests by unvaccinated employees. When collecting vaccination status, it is important to remember:
- Employers must maintain a record and roster of each employee’s vaccination status.
- Records must be kept as confidential medical records.
- The roster must state if employees are vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or not vaccinated due to religious or medical exemptions or not vaccinated because they have not provided proof of vaccination.
- It is important to remember to not dig too deep into an employee’s medical exemptions.
- Make sure to also comply with your state’s privacy rules.
New Hiring Practices
The new OSHA ETS has already started a new hiring trend amongst pre-employment screening and risk mitigation companies that want to make this transition a seamless part of a company’s hiring and HR practices. According to the Washington Post companies like Google have already implemented this process. Like with all risk mitigation it is important to stay ahead. Prepare now for a way to manage vaccination records and coronavirus tests. The OSHA ETS will alter the hiring process and make it even more important make sure your company is working within all compliance standards and has the capabilities to collect this information efficiently.
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