HR Policy Association

Media Reports Forthcoming OSHA Vaccine Rule Will Let Employers Make Workers Pay for Tests

Published on: October 29, 2021

Authors: D. Mark Wilson

Topics: Employment Law

OSHA’s COVID emergency temporary standard (ETS), which may be posted next week, will allow businesses to require workers who refuse to be vaccinated to pay for required weekly tests and masks.

According to media reports, the ETS will give employers the option of paying for testing and masks for unvaccinated workers or requiring those employees to pay for them.

However, employers will be required pay for testing and mask costs for employees who qualify for a religious or medical exemption.  Companies also may be ordered to pay when testing costs are subject to a union bargaining agreement.

Unvaccinated workers will be required to wear masks while indoors and in close contact with coworkers.

Implementation period and significant penalties.  The rule will reportedly allow for an implementation period before employers must comply or face penalties of up to $14,000 per violation.

Outlook:  The ETS is still under review at OMB but may be posted next week.  Legal challenges to rule are expected as well.