Executive Orders and OSHA
On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced that business owners with 100 or more people on payroll will have to ensure that their workforce either get vaccinated or provide weekly negative COVID-19 tests. This coincides with an Executive Order from the White House that requires COVID vaccination by October 15 for both the federal workforce and any contractor employees who do work on federal property. What could this mean for the HVACR industry?
As of right now, this upcoming Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is still being written by OSHA. Until the Department of Labor issues the formal document, specific details and guidelines as to how employers should collect vaccination and/or COVID test results are unclear. One thing that is clear is that the plan is expected to include accommodations for religious and medical exemptions.
It may be another one to two months until ETS particulars and labor reshuffling become clear. Until then, contractors should count on increased OSHA enforcement.
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