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COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) published an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for all employers of 100 or more employees to receive full vaccination or undergo periodic testing with mandatory face coverings.  In parallel to the ETS, OSHA is initiating a normal rulemaking process to formalize the vaccination mandate.  The Occupational Safety & Health Act authorizes OSHA to issue an ETS, but the agency must also administer a normal rulemaking where the public is able to review the proposal and provide responses.

Below are several key provisions from the ETS, which is available online here.

  • Employers with 100+ employees corporate-wide must:
    • Develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy; or
    • Develop, implement, and enforce a policy for weekly COVID-19 testing and mandatory face-coverings
  • The definition of employees includes:
    • Seasonal and part-time workers as of November 5, 2021;
    • The total of all employees corporate-wide regardless of work-reporting location.
  • For the purposes of meeting the 100+ employee threshold, employers must count all employees corporate-wide; however, there are employees who are exempt from the vaccination or testing and face-covering requirements. Employees exempt from the vaccination or testing and face-covering requirements include:
    • Employees who work remotely;
    • Employees who work exclusively outdoors on all days except for de minimis use of indoor spaces;
  • Employers must provide four hours paid leave for employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as well as a reasonable amount of paid sick leave for employees suffering from any symptoms related to receiving the vaccination.
  • Employers are not required to pay the costs of testing unvaccinated employees.
  • Employers must keep records of employee vaccination status, testing results, and policies.

The ETS preempts any state or local law prohibiting face-coverings.

The ETS is effective on November 5, 2021

  • December 5, 2021 Compliance Deadline: Employers have 30 days to comply with the policy requirements, and
  • January 4, 2022 Compliance Deadline: Employers have 60 days to comply with the weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated employees.

NPGA is developing more thorough guidance on the ETS as well as propane-industry templates that may assist in complying with the ETS.  The materials will be available on the Member Dashboard.  NPGA will hold an industry-wide webinar in the coming weeks to provide further guidance on the ETS and additional action we are taking on the rulemaking proposal.  Details to follow. Please direct any questions to Mike Caldarera, Senior Vice President of Regulatory & Technical Services, or Sarah Reboli, Senior Director of Regulatory & Industry Affairs.