Pam / Wednesday, December 15, 2021 / Categories: ATSSA, Government, Policy, Transportation ATSSA offers resources as vaccine mandates pose challenges Online resources aid understanding of changing requirements, legal status Two years into the global pandemic, businesses face ongoing challenges and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. Supply chains are impacted. Workforce issues confront employers of all sizes. And vaccine mandates threaten to intrude on daily operations. As mandates make their way through the courts, companies are in limbo as they seek to navigate the maze of rules and regulations across the country and at every level of government. With that in mind, ATSSA assembled key documents and resources to assist members. This information is broken into four sections: Key federal documents Monitoring legal challenges State and local government actions Resources for updates. KEY FEDERAL DOCUMENTS Executive Order 14042, Sept. 9, 2021 – “Ensuring adequate COVID safety protocols for federal contractors” President Joe Biden’s executive order lays the groundwork for the federal vaccine mandate for federal contractors. It does not, however, spell out the requirements. It tasks the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force with that duty. (See the next document.) Safer Federal Workforce Document – COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors. Updated Nov. 11, 2021. This details the vaccine mandate for federal contractors including masking and physical distancing requirements. It defines terms such as “contractor or subcontractor location,” “covered contactor” and “fully vaccinated.” This document gives the original Jan. 18, 2022 deadline for compliance and notes the possible exceptions under which an employee might continue working if not vaccinated (medical condition or “sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance”). “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard,” Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA), Nov. 5, 2021. This document, referred to as the ETS, applies to employers with 100 or more employees companywide. It states that “covered employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.” It also requires employers to: Determine the vaccination status of each employee, obtain acceptable proof of vaccination status from vaccinated employees and maintain records and a roster of each employee's vaccination status. Require employees to provide prompt notice when they test positive for COVID-19 or receive a COVID-19 diagnosis. Employers must then remove the employee from the workplace, regardless of vaccination status; employers must not allow them to return to work until they meet required criteria. Ensure each worker who is not fully vaccinated is tested for COVID-19 at least weekly (if the worker is in the workplace at least once a week) or within 7 days before returning to work (if the worker is away from the workplace for a week or longer). Ensure that, in most circumstances, each employee who has not been fully vaccinated wears a face covering when indoors or when occupying a vehicle with another person for work purposes. MONITORING LEGAL CHALLENGES With so many states challenging the federal vaccine mandate, it’s tough to stay updated on its status. ATSSA’s Roadway Safety News Break, a newsletter for members that includes informaion from across the country, and the ATSSA Blog will provide updates as news develops. In addition, the team at KelleyDrye, a New York-based firm with many specialties, is monitoring legal developments and offering periodic COVID-19 updates. Its Tuesday post provided a full rundown of the states that have filed legal challenges and the status of actions in federal court. As reported in ATSSA’s Dec. 9 News Break, the Senate approved a resolution rejecting the Biden administration requirement for businesses with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations or weekly testing. The same issue of News Break also included the halting of the federal contractor vaccine mandate, following a Dec. 7 ruling by a U.S. District Court judge in Georgia. STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACTIONS MultiState, a private firm based in Alexandria, Va., created a COVID-19 Policy Tracker that includes a COVID-19 Policy Dashboard. The dashboard provides a state-by-state breakdown that lists the state’s status on six issues: vaccine mandates mask mandates travel restrictions mass gathering restrictions school closures a state of emergency declaration. The dashboard also provides that information for a selection of local jurisdictions. The resources are free for the public and updated daily. Information also is presented in map form for a variety of categories including: State Vaccine Mandates on Businesses and Vaccine Mandates for State Employees. These maps provide a quick way to see where a particular state is on mandates and how it compares to others across the country. This information is also updated daily. RESOURCES FOR UPDATES: Safer Federal Workforce website – It has details for federal contractors and a list of relevant documents issued by the Task Force or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) related to COVID and the safety of employees. MultiState’s COVID-19 Policy Tracker for state and local government policies, updated daily. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID Data Tracker. ATSSA Blog ATSSA Roadway Safety News Break – distributed directly to ATSSA members. 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