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OSHA's 2022 COVID Mandate

01/13/22 Update:

On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court ruled against the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard regarding COVID-19 vaccination and testing for large employers.  Some businesses may choose to adopt some or all of the original policy, but will not be federally mandated to do so.  For more information, please visit OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS.

On the same day, the United States Supreme Court upheld a more limited vaccination and testing mandate for specific health care workers at facilities that receive federal money.  More information on the healthcare mandate can be found at OSHA COVID-19 Healthcare ETS.

12/30/21 Update:

In order to be compliant, employers must at a minimum:

  • Establish a written program
  • Keep record of vaccination status for all employees
  • Provide reasonable access (via time off) for employees to get vaccinated
  • Require face coverings for unvaccinated
  • Comply with weekly testing of unvaccinated (by Feb) if reporting to the workplace
  • Non-vaccinated employees must provide proof of a negative COVID test result following established protocols.

NOTE: At home tests are not acceptable under the ETS unless they are proctored by an authorized telehealth provider.

  • Report all COVID fatalities and hospitalizations to OSHA this includes:
  • all COVID fatalities within 8 hours of learning about fatality, and
  • all COVID in-patient hospitalization within 24 hours of learning about hospitalization.

The effective date of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) was November 5, 2021. By January 10, 2022, employers with over 100 employees must be making a good faith effort to comply with all sections of the ETS EXCEPT the weekly testing for unvaccinated. The date for the weekly testing to be in place is February 9, 2022.

If an employee reports a positive COVID test, they must be removed from workplace until:

  • They receive negative test result on a NAAT test (not antigen), or
  • They have met CDC isolation guidance, or
  • They have note from physician clearing return to work

Face Coverings

Employers must ensure that non-vaccinated employees wear face coverings when indoors, or in a vehicle with another person. Face coverings are not required when the employee is alone in an enclosed room, when eating/drinking, or for identification purposes (i.e. at security checkpoint). Face coverings must cover nose and mouth, and must be replaced when soiled or damaged. If an employer decides to provide respirators to employees, they must also comply with the respiratory protection standard.

Please note that currently, the following EXCEPTIONS apply:

  • The employer is not required under these regulations to cover expenses of testing, although such requirements may be in place under other legal agreements.
  • Employees that work exclusively outside, work remotely and/or otherwise work alone are not required to comply with the mandate.

For government service workers and contractors, please note that the weekly testing requirement vary by agency. For the latest COVID guidelines for federal workers, please consult the below website

For non-federal employers, please consult the current OSHA guidelines at

Have a safe day!