On June 9, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued a new COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) with the scope of the ETS limited to certain workplace settings that are defined as healthcare service and healthcare support service settings, unless the healthcare setting is specifically excluded. In conjunction with its release of the ETS, on June 10, 2021, OSHA also issued new guidance applicable to employers and workers that are not covered by the ETS. The stated purpose of the new guidance is to enable employers to better recognize and abate hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation under the General Duty clause and other existing mandatory OSHA standards. To accompany our recent commentary on the ETS, we also have prepared the following summary of the OSHA guidance directed at employers not covered by the ETS.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues New Guidance Applicable to all Employers Not Covered by the ETS

On June 9, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its long anticipated interim final rule and request for comments for the Occupational Exposure to COVID-19; Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). OSHA released the ETS one day after the approval of the standard was received from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. The ETS is limited to covered healthcare employers and excludes from coverage of the standard certain healthcare workplaces that have a fully vaccinated workforce and that exclude individuals with possible COVID-19 infections. The rule becomes effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register with deadlines for compliance that vary by section of the ETS. Written comments regarding whether the ETS should become a final rule must be submitted within 30 days of the publication date in the Federal Register. A brief overview of the ETS’s requirements are provided below.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues Federal COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance withdrawing the mask and physical distancing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals. The new CDC guidance raises issues for employers with respect to the requirements under existing state emergency temporary standards (ETS), state regulations and orders, and the employer’s ability to mandate the use of masks by employees or customers and to request proof of vaccination. We anticipate that various federal agencies will issue more guidance soon. In the meantime, to help employers to think through the answers to these questions, we provide the following information.
Continue Reading What Does the New CDC Guidance Regarding Masks Mean for Employers?

On April 20, 2021, the Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued guidance related to adverse reactions after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.  According to the guidance, an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is recordable in the OSHA record-keeping log if the reaction is: 1) work-related; 2) a new case, and 3)

As mandated by President Biden’s January 21 Executive Order, OSHA has announced a National Emphasis Program (NEP) designed to protect workers from contracting COVID-19.  On March 12, 2021, OSHA announced its new national emphasis program that targets high-risk establishments in high-risk industries for programmed inspections and provides a heightened focus on employers that retaliate against

As OSHA and the Department of Labor consider whether to issue a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) for workplaces, many states have already issued their own versions of pandemic workplace rules. They range in style and substance, and federal OSHA has said that it is reviewing the existing state ETS requirements as it looks at what types of provisions to include in any national mandates.

Continue Reading As OSHA considers ETS, what do various states already require?

On January 29, 2021, OSHA posted new guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The latest OSHA guidance standardizes a new name for employer policies: “COVID-19 Prevention Program.” In the guidance, OSHA states employers should implement COVID-19 Prevention Programs in the workplace. Per the agency, the most effective programs engage workers and their union or other representatives in the program’s development and include the following key elements: conducting a hazard assessment; identifying a combination of measures that limit the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace; adopting measures to ensure that workers who are infected or potentially infected are separated and sent home from the workplace; and implementing protections from retaliation for workers who raise COVID-19 related concerns.

Continue Reading OSHA Posts New Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace

As COVID-19 vaccination rolls out in the United States, employers should begin preparing to support vaccination and consider how workplaces will be impacted. There are still many unknowns, and plans will have to remain flexible. To help companies think through these issues, we’ve put together a vaccine planning checklist.

Continue Reading What can you do to support vaccination? Download our vaccine planning checklist for employers.