OSHA COVID Emergency Temporary Standard - Compliance Toolkit
President Biden introduced his COVID Plan on September 9, which includes significant new obligations for Banks with 100 or more employees. OSHA will be releasing an Emergency Temporary Standard which will require that all employees are tested weekly for COVID exposure unless the employee qualifies for proof of vaccination (POV) or remote work exception. The testing is measured weekly. Employees who fail to get tested or qualify for an exception will not be permitted to work for the Bank. The new obligations raise a wide range of legal, communication and employee relations challenges, which may be pursued in federal court litigation. OSHA has the authority to issue Emergency Temporary Standards, and OSHA has already done so in connection with COVID prevention expectations in the healthcare industry. These standards carry with them severely compressed implementation periods. The healthcare industry for example had less than two weeks to comply. OSHA has already begun to communicate components of the standard, such as a carve-out for remote employees, but has not announced specifically when the standard will be published. Other elements of the COVID Plan have effective dates beginning September 25, so we know the agency is moving very quickly. This briefing does merely not involve a generalized discussion. Instead, we will provide and discuss specific forms, sample communications, compliance logs, accommodation assessment checklists, and the related components necessary for a community bank to satisfy the OSHA expectation. We will discuss the related legal issues under the FLSA, ADA, and Title VII. Thinking in terms of efficiency, steps can be taken early to alleviate pressures and obstacles later in October.