1.7.22 COVID Bulletin: The Latest on Vax Mandates – OSHA Rule to be Enforced Monday
January 7, 2022
OSHA Rule to be Enforced Monday
OSHA is set to begin enforcement of its Vax-or-Test Mandate for organizations with 100+ employees on Monday. After months of litigation, the latest U.S. Circuit Court decision upheld the mandate.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to look into the issue, and heard oral arguments today for a key case challenging the mandate. A Supreme Court decision impacting the mandate could come any day, and the BNP will keep you informed of any relevant changes. However, at this point, OSHA plans to begin enforcing the mandate Monday.
To help you prepare for the mandate, the BNP hosted a seminar with a human resources expert. The presentation, available here, will address frequently asked questions.
Concern has been raised about the current lack of available tests, which may impede employees’ ability to get tested in a timely fashion. On this issue, OSHA stated: “in the event that an individual employer is unable to comply with [the rule] due to inadequate test supply or laboratory capacity, OSHA will look at efforts made by the employer to comply, as well as the pattern and practice of the employer’s testing program, and consider refraining from enforcement where the facts show good faith in attempting to comply with the standard” (see question 6.L here).
Hochul Mandates Booster for Healthcare Workers
Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that she will require all healthcare workers to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters when available. Hochul said that only medical exemptions will be accepted, and there is no test-out option.
The state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council meets Tuesday and is expected to formally adopt the rule. The BNP will circulate details once the rule is adopted and published.
ECIDA Creates New MWBE Incentive
The Erie County Industrial Development Agency recently approved a new incentive for MWBE subcontractor utilization, known as the Economic Inclusion Program.
COVID-19 Bulletin: Tax Credits Available for COVID-Related Costs
Small businesses can now apply for a new tax credit to help offset COVID-19 costs. The $250 million COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program will cover up to 50% of eligible expenses, for a maximum benefit of $25,000.
With Canada lifting most travel restrictions, border communities breathe sigh of relief
BUFFALO, N.Y. (The Buffalo News) —Dottie Gallagher, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said fears of random testing and possible quarantines in Ontario all worked to discourage significant aspects of the region’s integrated economy. She called the move “quite frankly, long overdue,” especially for those travelers discouraged to even try navigating requirements like ArriveCan.
9.26.22 Advocacy Alert: Canada to Remove All Border Restrictions
The Public Health Agency of Canada announced it will lift all COVID-related restrictions on international travelers beginning this Saturday, October 1.