Health & Safety Insights

COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)

Rachel Krubsack, Associate Editor 

Date: 11/5/2021

OSHA’s much-anticipated COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) is set to be published in the Federal Register November 5. It requires private industry employers with 100 or more employees company-wide — in agriculture, general industry, shipyard, maritime, longshoring, and construction — to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, or adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to be vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.

Employers must provide workers with paid time to get vaccinated and allow for paid leave to recover from any side effects. The ETS does not require employers to pay for testing, however, they may be required to pay for testing to comply with other laws or collective bargaining agreements. Employers also are not required to pay for face coverings.

While most of the rule takes effect 30 days after publication, there is a 60-day compliance window for the testing requirement (January 5, 2022).