NOTE: The federal workplace vaccine-or-testing mandate is not currently in effect.
The two vaccine mandate policies issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are intended to move America forward out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mandate covers companies with 100+ employees, federal contractors, and healthcare workers.
What are the Workforce Vaccine Mandate Policies?
Policy 1: OSHA Requirement for Companies with 100+ Employees (currently blocked by federal court)
Under the ETS, covered employers (100+ employees) must ensure their workers are fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, or test weekly for COVID-19. Other requirements include:
- Unvaccinated employees who opt for weekly testing must wear a face mask in the workplace.
- Covered employers must pay workers for the time they take to get vaccinated.
- Covered employers must also pay employees for time off due to side-effects from the vaccine.
- Covered employers do not have to pay for their employees to get vaccinated. Covered employers may or may not be required to pay for worker testing depending on other laws or collective bargaining agreements.
- Covered employers are required to keep accurate records of employee vaccinations and test results, available to employees and anyone else at employee consent.
Employers must also provide aggregate vaccine counts and total employees to their workers and anyone who represents them.
Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 must be removed from the workplace.
Employers should also follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the work environment if a worker tests positive within the previous 24 hours.
Policy 2: CMS Requirement for healthcare workers (currently blocked by federal court)
The CMS mandate requires workers to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022. This policy applies to all personnel including:
- Clinical workers
- Non-clinical workers
- Volunteers at covered facilities who receive Medicare or Medicaid federal funding
- Treatment and service providers who are compensated under contract or other arrangements.
From July 2020, all federal employers, employees, and contractors are required to be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated federal contractors must follow the January 4, 2022 deadline which applies to covered companies and CMS health care establishments.
The three employment groups above are bound to the same January 4, 2022 deadline to help streamline the process across all three sectors. This means employers won’t have to track different vaccine requirements for the same individual.
What Does "Fully Vaccinated" Mean?
You have fully vaccinated status when you meet the dosage requirements for the type of vaccine you receive:
- 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson
- 2 doses of Pfizer
- 2 doses of Moderna