OSHA Employer Vaccine Mandate Update

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor submitted to the White House for final review a draft of an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that will force many private-sector companies to require employee vaccinations or COVID testing.  The regulation requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to mandate workers get fully vaccinated or be tested weekly for COVID. It also asked for the rule to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent the draft rule to the Office of Management and Budget which normally can take months to conclude its analysis. However, President Biden called for an expedited process, which could mean the office will give its approval within days. While employers in many states will have to implement the ETS immediately, South Carolina is one of 21 states that has a state OSHA plan giving an additional 30 days from publication in the Federal Register to develop an alternative plan.   Lawsuits are also expected by several states once the rule is finalized, including in South Carolina.