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Volume XI, Number 337

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OSHA ETS in Review, Texas Vaccine Mandate Ban, Health Premium Incentives [VIDEO]

This week, we review the status of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring employers to mandate vaccines.

Employers Await White House Decision on OSHA ETS

Last week, OSHA sent to the White House its draft emergency temporary standard, which will require employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees are vaccinated or provide a negative COVID test at least weekly. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will now review OSHA’s ETS, holding meetings with business groups, worker groups, and other interested parties. Meanwhile, further clarification has been released on the mandatory safety protocols and vaccination requirements federal contractors must implement.

Texas Governor Bans Vaccine Mandates

In direct response to the federal contractor mandate and pending ETS, Texas Governor Greg Abbott instituted an executive order prohibiting Texas employers from mandating vaccines for employees who object to becoming vaccinated due to “personal conscience,” including religious beliefs and medical reasons. Read more about the Texas order.

Health Plan Discounts OK for Vaccinated Employees

The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury collectively published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) around health premium incentives for vaccines. The FAQs clarified that employers can give premium discounts or impose a surcharge on health plan participants based on their COVID-19 vaccination status. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took a similar position earlier this year.

©2021 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 293
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About this Author

George Carroll Whipple III, Epstein Becker Green, Workforce Management Lawyer, Hiring Matters Attorney
Member

GEORGE CARROLL WHIPPLE, III, is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He hosts the firm's innovative weekly video program, Employment Law This Week.

Mr. Whipple:

  • Counsels employers on workplace issues, including hiring and promotion, firing and discipline, wage and hour, and the implementation of employment policies, to ensure compliance with federal and state laws

  • ...
212-351-3773
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