UPDATE: OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard

by | Dec 19, 2021 | Axiom Medical, OSHA

On December 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 vaccination and testing for employers with 100 or more employees. Key highlights are summarized below:  


Effective immediately, employers must exercise reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard. Develop written policies for vaccination and testing protocols now.

Employers must have a written policy in place by January 10, 2022. Mask requirements for unvaccinated employees and providing PTO for employees to get vaccinated must be implemented by this time as well.

Additionally, a weekly testing protocol must be implemented for all unvaccinated employees by February 9, 2022.    

ETS Highlights and General Requirements: 

Employers with more than 100 employees must either: 

1. Implement a written mandatory vaccination policy; or 

2. Implement a written policy (i.e., infection control policy) requiring employees to either 

a. Get vaccinated 

b. Get tested once every 7-days and wear a face mask while at the workplace, or 

c. If not working in the workplace at least one day out of 7, get tested within 7-days prior to reporting to a workplace. 

3. Exceptions: 

The requirements of the ETS do not apply to employees who: 

  • work alone in a workplace/work alone in the field, 
  • work from home, or 
  • work exclusively outdoors


4. Employees will not be required to comply with a written mandatory vaccination policy if:  

  • vaccination is medically contraindicated, 
  • medical necessity requires a delay in vaccination, or 
  • they are legally entitled to a reasonable accommodation under federal civil rights laws because they have a disability or sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that conflicts with the vaccination requirement. 


Employers must determine the vaccination status of each employee by requiring proof. 

  1. Determine the vaccination status of each employee

2. Require proof from each employee of vaccination status defined as: 

  • record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy a copy of the vaccination card
  • a copy of medical records documenting a vaccination 
  • a copy of immunization records from public health systems, 
  • a copy of any other official documentation that contains:  a) type of vaccine, b) dates of administration, or c) name of clinic/professional administering the vaccine 
  • In the event the employee was vaccinated but cannot locate or provide any of the items listed in a-e above, then the employee may provide a signed and dated statement that includes the following: a) attesting to vaccination status (full or partial), b)attesting that they have lost or are otherwise unable to provide proof, and c) the following language “I certify that this statement is true and accurate. I understand that knowingly providing false information regarding my vaccination status on this form may subject me to criminal penalties.” 

3. Provide time off to their employees to get vaccinated and recover from side effects 

4. Maintain a record of each vaccination record in the confidential medical file for so long as ETS is in effect. 

5. Maintain a roster of each employee’s vaccination status; such rosters need to be protected in the same fashion as employee confidential medical records for so long as ETS is in effect. 

6. For all testing, maintain records of test results for all employees subject to testing in the confidential medical file for so long as ETS is in effect. 

7. Require notification from employees who test positive or are otherwise diagnosed, and remove them from the workplace 

8. Inform each employee (in a language and at a level they can understand: 

a.The requirements of the ETS,

c.The requirements of 29 CFR 1904.35(b)(1 (iv): employers cannot terminate, discriminate against, or otherwise retaliate against an employee for reporting work-related injuries or illness or exercising rights under the OSH Act.

d. The prohibitions of 18 USC 1001 and Section 7(g) of the OSH Act provide for criminal penalties associated with knowingly supplying false statements or documentation.


Helpful Resources:


Axiom Medical Can Help!

OSHA’s new Emergency Temporary Standard mandates workplace vaccination and testing for the unvaccinated. Let your employees return to work with confidence with Axiom Medical’s support and population health expertise. Our OSHA COVID-19 Compliance program offers all the features you need to comply with the OSHA 2.0 Emergency Temporary Standard.

Get Compliant Today. Call Us Now! 


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