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The OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard: Are You Prepared?

This blog post was updated on Nov. 16, 2021.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) outlining requirements that impact businesses with 100 or more employees. Here’s what you need to know about the standard.

The ETS requirements include:

  • ensuring employees are vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022, or require unvaccinated employees to produce a negative test every seventh day
  • requiring unvaccinated workers to wear a face mask within the workplace by Dec. 6. The standard does not instruct employers to pay for testing unless otherwise required.
  • paying employees for reasonable time to get vaccinated and paying sick leave for employees to recover from any side effects experienced following each primary vaccination dose
  • complying with the record-keeping and reporting requirements detailed in the standard
  • communicating various policies as detailed in the standard and providing those as well as other information to employees

The deadline for covered federal workers and contractors to comply with the standard has also been moved to Jan. 4, 2022. OSHA confirmed remote workers will not be subject to this rule, provided they do not enter the workspace.

The emergency temporary standard will be effective for six months with the possibility for extension.

As a reminder, the White House’s COVID-19 Action Plan also includes an expansion of the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. While the initiative already provided loans, the maximum loan amount will increase from $500,000 to $2 million. Small businesses will be provided a 30-day exclusive window to apply for loans of $500,000 or less shortly after the program launches.

The plan also streamlines the Paycheck Protection Plan loan forgiveness application by sending select borrowers an autopopulated form for them to sign and return to the Small Business Administration.

ArrowsPaycom can help

The OSHA ETS presents a number of immediate compliance risks. Paycom is not only here to help keep you informed, but also offers tools that help you stay compliant. Our single software already allows businesses to track an employee’s vaccination and testing status.

Additionally, Paycom allows employers to:

  • create, assign, archive and retrieve important acknowledgements from your workforce, such as your updated COVID-19 policy
  • offer technology that allows employees to clock in safely from their mobile devices within a predefined radius so they can avoid sharing a communal kiosk without compromising time sheet accuracy
  • easily create and assign courses so you can readily educate your workforce on your COVID-19 response plan
  • provide an accessible, adaptive method that automatically routes employee questions to exactly the right person to answer them
  • take action if an employee fails to adhere to new policies while also documenting the event so it’s readily available, should evidence, such as an OSHA request, prove necessary

For more information, view the OSHA ETS, summary and fact sheet. Learn more about the COVID-19 Action Plan here, and visit our blog for regular posts about HR compliance and more!


DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.