November 12, 2021
As you may have seen in the press, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine mandate regulations were released this month.
Please note: OSHA has stayed any action to implement or enforce the ETS after numerous court challenges. This will likely mean a delay of up to several months as the issue makes its way through the courts. VADA will be providing information to dealers to assist with their compliance efforts.
Here are some other points to keep in mind about OSHA's action:
The Federal OSHA ETS does not apply in Virginia until it is adopted by the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board. From the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health program:
“Because the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) State Plan has final approval from federal OSHA, the VOSH program has exclusive jurisdiction over the adoption of safety and health standards and regulations for the Commonwealth. No federal OSHA standard can become effective in Virginia until it is adopted by the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (Board).
The Board has the option to adopt an identical version of the OSHA ETS. The Board can take up to 30 days to adopt the OSHA ETS.
The Department is in the process of setting a Board meeting for December and the OSHA ETS will be on the agenda.”
It is not clear how dealers must combine employees at separate locations in determining whether they reach the 100-employee threshold. We expect additional clarification on this issue from OSHA and VOSH.
OSHA Mask Regulations
The OSHA ETS requires unvaccinated employees to wear masks at work. This does NOT change the Virginia DOLI standard that requires all employees to wear masks in areas of high or substantial community transmission of COVID. Your employees are required to wear masks until transmission rates decline to moderate or low levels, at which time vaccinated employees will no longer have to wear masks.
OSHA has posted information about the ETS, including FAQs and a sample policy, on its website. You also also view those materials using the button below.