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Vaccine Policy Update

UPDATE: Private Business Vaccine Mandate Begins January 4th

What does the mandate state and when do employers have to comply?

A deadline has been set for the federal vaccine mandate applying to all employers with 100 or more workers. President Biden’s private-sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate will take effect January 4th with fines of up to $14,000 per infraction for employers that don’t comply.

The plan comes after two months of anticipation following the President’s announcement that private-sector employees, health care workers and federal contractors would all be required to be vaccinated or tested weekly. All workers have a deadline of January 4, 2022 to be fully vaccinated.

How must employers count employees under the mandate?

On November 4th, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard stating the count of employees should be done at the employer level and not by individual location. This means a company with multiple locations would count the total sum of employees even if some locations have as few as one employee each.

This employee count configuration does not apply for franchises. Corporate employees will be counted under the franchisor’s number, whereas the employees at individual franchisee locations would be counted separately. Part-time employees and employees who work from home are included in their employer’s count. However, independent contractors are not.

How can employers manage vaccination documentation required to comply?

Now that the federal mandate has been announced, compliance experts generally recommend the following action steps:

  1. Draft a vaccination or testing policy.
  2. Ensure vaccination requirements are in place and include potential exemptions
  3. Anticipate changes to new requirements due to COVID-19 variants.

At minimum, a mandatory vaccination policy must account for potential accommodation obligations and other legal nuances.

How does People Cloud enable employers to comply with the mandate?

isolved People Cloud includes a new Documents on File feature that enables employers to store vaccination records, policy attestation forms, and other compliance documents within an employee record. Additionally, the isolved People Services team can develop a legally approved Employee Vaccination Policy that can be signed and stored in isolved People Cloud.

What other important dates should employers be aware of?

The requirement published by OSHA in the Federal Register takes effect November 5th. The first compliance deadline for employers—providing time off for workers to get inoculated and ensuring those who are not vaccinated are wearing masks—is December 5th. Workers must be fully vaccinated by January 4th or submit to testing.