"We employ: Less than 100, no vaccine required," is the latest lawn sign discovered in an industrial park in Wisconsin.
The Branches for companies employing over 100 people through the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard & Vaccine Mandate are beginning to develop. Regardless of the fact that ETS is temporarily bound in the courts, HR and management teams see a ticking bell at new regulation times and begin to draw their attention to the situation.
On 11 November th R&R Insurance held a webinar with Michael Best Lawyer and OSHA Specialist, Chuck Palmer. The webinar attracted over 300 c-suite people who asked a total of 90 questions. Below are 10 of the best questions asked during the webinar.
For a more comprehensive OSHA ETS compliance guide, see the HR Vaccine Compliance Guide from Best Workplace Solutions, which will be continuously updated as rules change.
Q: Does the standard only apply to full-time employees or do you have to include seasonal and part-time employees in your number?
A: When calculating the total number of employees, you must include seasonal and part-time employees. If you had 100 employees on November 5 th 2021 but fall below that figure, the standard still applies to your organization. If your organization was under 100 employees on November 5 but then grows, the standard applies when your organization reaches 100.
Q: Does the standard apply to several units with joint ownership?
Answer: Yes, if the organizations share joint security management.
Question: Can an unvaccinated employee test with a test kit at home? Are covid-19 antigen tests acceptable according to the standard?
A: A test kit at home is considered acceptable, but it must be checked by a third party or the employer. The employee can not self-test and self-verify. Covid-19 antigen tests are considered acceptable.
Q: Does the employer need to keep a register of unvaccinated employees' tests?
A: Yes. If OSHA so requests, the employer would be required to provide evidence. This must be kept as a confidential journal, possibly for as long as 30 years.
Q: Is there a maximum penalty for non-compliance?
A: There is a maximum penalty for each individual, but no maximum penalty for the number of violations.
Q: Are employees who work remotely at home excluded from the requirements for vaccines, testing and masking? Are employees who work exclusively outdoors exempt from the requirements for vaccine, testing and masking?
A: Employees who work exclusively from home are exempt from the requirements for vaccine, testing and masking. Employees who work exclusively outside are also exempt from the requirements provided that they are only inside during a "de minimis" period. "De minimis" is not defined in the standard, but probably refers to 15 minutes.
Question: Do employers have to keep a copy of the vaccine card?
A: Yes. Should OSHA come on site and request it, you will need to produce a spreadsheet with vaccinated and unvaccinated employees within 4 hours.
Q: Are municipal municipalities the subject of the assignment? Public schools?
Q: If you work in an office environment and you are not vaccinated, does the standard require you to wear a mask at your desk?  A: If you has walls and a door (office) you can remove the mask. If you are in a cubic, you would need to wear a mask.
Q: How is a religious exception documented? Are religions treated differently according to the standard?
A: We suggest that you use the government's own forms of religious housing (EEOC). Claiming a religious exception requires a deep-seated religious conviction and is not dependent on religion.
Click here to view the entire webinar on November 11 th hosted by Attorney Chuck Palmer at R&R Insurance Services, Inc. Many more questions are addressed in the webinar.