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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Vaccination Options and Responsibilities

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

Note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which requires employers with 100 or more employees to take certain safety measures, including implementing vaccination and testing requirements. However, on January 13, 2022, the US Supreme Court issued a stay of the ETS and remanded the case back to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, thereby blocking OSHA from enforcing it. As a result, covered employers are not currently required to comply with OSHA's ETS. Notwithstanding this ruling, private employers may continue to implement their own workplace vaccination and testing policies. XpertHR will continue to monitor legal developments and will update resources as necessary.

With COVID-19 vaccinations available to all eligible individuals, employers are confronted with how, or if, to address the vaccination status of their employees. As with everything relating to COVID-19, many of these issues are complex and require consideration of various factors that affect the particular workplace.

Federal guidance, for example, provides that employers may generally require employees to get vaccinated, subject to certain exceptions. Employers, however, should have an understanding of the various issues with which they may have to grapple should they choose to implement a COVID-19 vaccination plan in their workplace.

In addition, it is critical to keep up with the developments relating to measures to increase overall vaccination rates and how those measures may affect the workplace. Below are several issues that employers may encounter as they address COVID-19 vaccinations in their workplaces.