The Biden Administration's directive to OSHA to develop an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) mandating COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for all private sector businesses with 100+ employees has been submitted by OSHA and became effective November 5, 2021.

The impact on COVID Vaccine and testing requirements are already in place. Here’s what you need to know:

Under this standard, covered employers with 100+ employees (including temporary/seasonal workers) must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.

Steps that need to take place to prepare include the following:

  1. Determine employee vaccination status. If this is a display of a vaccination card or verification through state records, this decision needs to be made prior to requiring vaccination status. Once verification has been decided, employers must obtain this proof of vaccination and maintain records of status in their employee roster.
  2. Schedule onsite vaccination or testing clinics, or locate the nearest facility for these services. Employers are also required to provide adequate PTO (up to 4 hours) to receive vaccination doses, and time/paid sick leave to recover from side effects of the vaccination doses.
  3. Write policies that address the confidentiality of vaccine status and test results and clearly spell out the company’s vaccine/testing policy.
  4. Decide on how the company will manage religious or disability exemptions.
  5. Provide access to weekly testing for employees who are not fully vaccinated. The ETS does not require employers to pay for testing, but also does not prohibit employers from voluntarily assuming the costs associated with testing.

Please note that the ETS does not apply to the following kinds of employers:

  • Companies covered under the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force
  • Companies already complying with OSHA ETS for COVID-19 for Healthcare (29 CFR 1910.502)
  • Work from home staff or employees who work exclusively outdoors


OSHA Provided Resources:

COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS Webinar
COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard - YouTube

Fact Sheet: Summary of the COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing ETS
COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS (osha.gov)

Fact Sheet: About the ETS
COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS (osha.gov)

Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS - Frequently Asked Questions | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)

Mandatory Vaccination Policy Template
COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)

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