Vaccine Mandates Become Real This January – What HR teams Need to Do Now

Just a few days before much of the country returned home to celebrate Christmas and the Holidays, businesses employing over 100 people received a perhaps unexpected “present” from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. On December 17, the court reinstated implementing the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for larger employers. As a result, employers might phase penalties as early as January 10.

What The New Rules Say

In November 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its temporary emergency standards (ETS) for employers with a workforce of more than 100. According to the standards, covered employers needed to ask their staff to choose between becoming vaccinated by the beginning of December or submitting to a weekly testing regime by January. Within days, the ETS was challenged in federal court by states, companies, and individuals, and the implementation of the ETS has temporarily stayed.

Subsequently, the complaint was grouped into one case and ruled upon by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court decided to reinstate OSHA’s original standards. As of January 10, large employers need to know the fully vaccinated workforce percentage. Employees opting out of vaccination must submit to at least weekly COVID-19 testing by February 9.

Businesses found to be non-compliant are subject to financial penalties at the hand of OSHA, and the agency is within its right to issue citations as early as January 10.

What Employers Need to Do Now

The court ruling has made it clear that there will be no more delay in implementing the vaccination mandate. In a split-majority decision, the judges found that OSHA das acted within its order to keep workers safe in their workplace by issuing the standards.

As the omicron variant of the coronavirus is gripping America, the administration estimates that the mandate will save 6,500 lives and prevent 250,000 hospitalizations over six months.

Any employer that did not verify their workforce’s vaccination status needs to start now – or as soon as teams return after the holidays. Where employees have not been fully vaccinated, employers need to insist on mask-wearing when the individuals are at work to help keep the entire team safe.

As a next step, businesses need to be ready to offer mass COVID-19 testing to those who have opted out of vaccination.

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Find A Reliable Partner

Considering that owners, managers, or HR teams will have barely one week to complete the non-testing requirements, you may think that the goal is unachievable. However, by teaming up with an experienced partner, your company can still hit OSHA’s deadline.

Technology like the vaccination verification platform powered by TrueCare™ makes the job much easier. Gone are when the HR team had to note employees’ vaccination statuses and choices on a clipboard.

Your entire business can be set up on the online-only platform within hours, with employees able to submit their data through their mobile phones.

Employees scan hard-copy vaccination records and upload them to the platform, your HR team verifies their validity, and they automatically appear on the company dashboard: no lost notes, no danger of lost verification paperwork.

Once more team members upload their data, you start to see clearly what the requirements for mas wearing will be and how many people might need weekly testing. For large companies with various locations, the system works just as well.

Employees get grouped by location(s) to make it clear for the management team where to direct more or less support to comply with the regulations.

The same platform then also helps you facilitate weekly COVID-19 testing. As an employer, you will see who needs to submit to testing. TrueCare™ provides a full on-site service. Medical professional visits your location and supplies testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), and any additional stores needed. They will also deal with the record-keeping. All you need to do is log in to your dashboard to check the results.

Your Next Step

Even if your business has not yet started preparing, panic is unnecessary. Even one week is plenty of time to become compliant with the first stage of the process and prepare for the second one.

In addition, OSHA has made it clear that their approach to citations and penalties will be considered and based on whether a business made reasonable, good-faith efforts to comply within the timeline.

However, there is no longer any time to be lost. Any employer with a workforce of more than 100 needs to start complying now.

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About TrueCare™ 

TrueCare™ is a nationwide Health & Wellness platform for families and businesses providing end-to-end solutions for COVID-19 testing, screening, vaccination, home care, and corporate well-being services.



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