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.
BNP has stepped in to assist the City of Buffalo in their efforts to organize the generous support offered by the business community. Updated 5.20.22 With the establishment of the two funds described below, interested donors are encouraged to contact the appropriate fund directly to provide support.
Without fanfare, the New York State Department of Labor updated its website to announce the relaxation of some NY HERO Act provisions. Employers can now forego enforcing their workplace safety plans.
Governor Kathy Hochul has issued an Executive Order extending New York’s state of emergency declaration for COVID-19. The state of emergency was scheduled to expire today, but Hochul extended the declaration through April 15.
A new report from the Empire Center for Public Policy details how expensive a single payer healthcare system would be in New York. The full report is available here.