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Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations and Related Paid Time Off for Large Employers

September 13, 2021

Mandatory Vaccinations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week before physically showing up to work.

While the exact timeline is unknown, OSHA is expected to publish an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement in the coming weeks.

Paid Time Off

OSHA is also developing a rule that will require employers with 100 or more employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and recover from the vaccination’s side effects. This requirement will be implemented through the ETS.

As previously reported, employers in New York, regardless of size, must provide employees with COVID-19 Vaccination Paid Leave for up to four hours per vaccine injection. It is unknown whether the paid time off requirement under the ETS will exceed this requirement.

While there are a number of unknown details of the ETS (including regarding exemptions or accommodation requirements, compensation for the time and expense associated with weekly testing, how the 100 employee threshold will be counted, etc.), large employers may take steps now to evaluate their headcounts by location and their current COVID-19 vaccination leave requirements and policies.

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