On November 5, 2021, OSHA published its emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing (the “ETS”). The headline-grabbing core of the ETS is the requirement that covered employers must implement and enforce a policy that mandates that employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022 or to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a mask.
The FDA’s recent full authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine—and the Biden Administration's announcement of OSHA’s forthcoming Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 vaccinations—have brought mandates to the forefront of employers' plans to return to in-person work.
So what are the legal and business considerations of vaccine mandates? And what are best practices for workplace re-entry?