As the fine print details of the new OSHA standard emerge, please note the following:
- Contrary to previously-suggested OSHA guidance, covered employers which choose the option to offer the weekly testing in lieu of vaccination will not be required to pay for those tests for any employee who chooses to be tested rather than vaccinated. The only exceptions are if they are otherwise required to by state or local laws or in labor union contracts.
- All unvaccinated workers must begin wearing masks by Dec. 5 and provide a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis beginning Jan. 4.
- The rule takes effect upon publication in Friday’s Federal Register.
- These OSHA rules will not be applied to workplaces already covered under the executive order dealing with federal contractors or the CMS rule dealing with health care providers.
Unrelated to the OSHA rule, please note that the deadline for federal contractors to comply has been pushed back to Jan. 4.