Everything You Need to Know About Pending Employer Vaccination Requirements

You’ve heard about the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for healthcare workers and federal employees. But now, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) for the private sector. The exact fate of the standard hangs in the balance after a stay issued and reinforced by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stipulating that OSHA may not implement or enforce the standard until directed otherwise.

In the meantime, The National Law Review advises that employers continue to prepare “in the event the rule is upheld of the Fifth Circuit’s stay is lifted.” So what’s at the center of the hotly debated standard? In an effort to better protect workers and reduce the number of infections and overall transmissibility of COVID-19, about 84 million workers would need to get vaccinated before showing up to work.

For you, as an employer, that means a whole new slew of data to collect, manage and securely store for the duration of the ETS. It also means new potential noncompliance fines.

For all the details and supporting evidence, you can check out the entire report here – but it does happen to be nearly 500 pages long. Let’s break down some key points and action items so you can prepare the proper systems and processes to protect both your people and your bottom line.

The proposed deadline: January 4, 2022

The basics: 

Private businesses with 100 or more employees would have to require all employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Employees would have to be fully vaccinated by January 4 – which means you need to start now, if you haven’t already. You don’t have to turn your facilities into a vaccination site, but you do need to provide paid time off for employees to go and get their shots.

Who’s exempt? 

The vaccination requirement doesn’t apply to workers who:

  1. Are 100% remote
  2. Work exclusively online
  3. Have medical conditions, disabilities and/or religious affiliations that exclude them from receiving the vaccine

This ETS only applies to big companies – so why should I care if my company is smaller than 100 employees?

For now, the ETS would only impact companies with a large number of employees – but that may not always be the case. OSHA is currently seeking comment on the implementation of a similar policy for companies with fewer than 100 employees. So, these requirements may become the status quo for the entire private sector in the near future.

What if my employee refuses to get vaccinated?

For employees who elect not to receive the vaccine, two additional requirements come into play.

  1. Unvaccinated employees must receive a COVID test every seven days and deliver the result to the employer (this is data you will have to manage)
  2. They must also wear a face covering when indoors or in a car with another employee

Things to keep in mind :

  • The proposed deadline for requiring unvaccinated employees to wear masks is sooner than the rest of the mandate – December 5, 2021.
  • There’s a few exceptions to the mask requirement, like when the employee is alone in a room with floor to ceiling walls and the door is closed, while the employee is eating or drinking, when the employee needs to be identified, etc.
  • It’s up to employees to pay for tests. This is meant to create a financial incentive for employees to choose the free vaccination over the cost of weekly testing.

What would I have to do if an employee were to test positive for COVID-19?

If one of your employees receives a positive COVID-19 test, they are required to notify you. On your end, you must immediately remove any employee from the workplace who has either:

  1. Received a positive test result
  2. Been diagnosed by a licensed healthcare provider

In all cases, you’ve (potentially) got new data to manage and protect.

Although the ETS allows companies to use their existing systems and processes to manage vaccination data, one thing remains clear: for as long as the ETS remains in effect, you must maintain confidential records of every employee test and all vaccination records. In other words, you need to treat this information like you would any other confidential medical record.

That’s a high volume of data that you will need to securely collect and store. A manual approach is likely to be time-consuming and error-prone – which can also negatively impact the employee experience at your organization. Change is hard enough in the best of circumstances – so make sure you have an automated, convenient and secure approach that helps everyone check this new box and get on with their day, whichever route they choose.

Noncompliance will cost you – it’s just a question of how much

Yes, implementing new requirements means time and money – but ignore the ETS at your own financial risk. The penalty for a serious violation starts at $13,653 but can go as high as $136,532 for companies who knowingly violate the rules set forth by the standard.

You’ve got our support.

Obviously, we don’t yet know exactly what will happen with the ETS. But should it proceed, there’s very little time to hit the mark on these new requirements. There’s also some good news: our Vaccination Management Solution helps you maintain a secure record of all the new data using your existing systems. Plus, we can help you position your employees to easily and safely upload and update that information themselves using a mobile app and/or self service portals.

The entire process is automated, so no one loses time over repetitive processes or avoidable mistakes. You can even sync vaccination and testing data with employee identities to automate an employee’s physical access to company facilities, creating an additional layer of security and safety.

You’ve got potential new requirements to meet – and we can help you get there faster, while keeping your company safer in the process. Let’s connect to continue the conversation on accelerating compliance and enhancing your security posture with cyber-physical solutions.

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David Cassady

Chief Strategy Officer

David Cassady has been selling and leading teams in Silicon Valley for more than 30 years. During that time, he’s led a mix of established software players and startups. Cassady has also been involved with five IPOs — and at least as many acquisitions. 

As Chief Strategy Officer, David leverages his extensive experience helping software businesses drive growth through deep and impactful partnerships with the world’s most successful SaaS providers like ServiceNow, Microsoft and SAP. 

Mark Weatherford

Chief Security Officer
Senior Vice President, Regulated Industries

Mark Weatherford brings years of high-level cyber-physical expertise to Alert Enterprise, and as Chief Security Officer (CSO), he guides the strategy of data management and protection by advising cyber-physical security policies and procedures within the company. Weatherford also works in liaison with businesses and executive professionals in the cyber and physical security industries to further accelerate security convergence adoption.

Mark has held numerous high-level cyber-centric positions, including Vice President and Chief Security Officer at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Department of Homeland Security’s first Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity under the Obama administration, California’s first Chief Security Officer, and the first CISO for the state of Colorado.

Harsh Chauhan

Chief Technology Officer

As Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Alert Enterprise, Harsh Chauhan is responsible for the company’s engineering technology innovation and solution delivery. A 20-year technology veteran and leader, Chauhan is focused on the growth of the company’s 3D Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) hyperscale cloud platform.

He also continues to develop integrated solutions with leading technology partners like SAP, SAP NS2, and ServiceNow. Before Alert Enterprise, Mr. Chauhan held multiple CTO positions, as well as Product Owner and Head of Development at SAP GRC 10.0, delivering targeted solutions to high-profile SAP clients.

Ruby Deol

Chief Operations Officer

Ruby Deol oversees all business units at Alert Enterprise. With more than 20 years of experience in global sales and support services, Deol nurtures existing client relationships with a customer-first approach. As Alert Enterprise continues to grow in industry recognition and stature, Deol is charged with developing and implementing methods to meet organization goals and facilitate the company’s ongoing transformation.

Kaval Kaur

CFO and Co-Founder

As Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Co-Founder of Alert Enterprise, Kaval Kaur leads all finance and administrative back-office operations. Kaur is a member of the national professional organization American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California State CPA Society.

Prior to joining Alert Enterprise, she was the CFO and Co-Founder of Virsa Systems, a position she held until its acquisition by SAP.

Kaur is a philanthropist at heart, embracing the diversity of the San Francisco Bay area by assisting with and promoting special cultural events. She recently sponsored 2,000 public schools in rural India to advance computer literacy skills for children and is a foster mother to a 10 year old.

Jasvir Gill

Founder and CEO

Leading the charge of digital transformation and security convergence is Jasvir Gill, Founder and CEO of Alert Enterprise, Inc. An accomplished engineer by trade, Gill is driving the long-overdue digital transformation of the physical security industry.

Prior to launching Alert Enterprise, Gill was the founder and CEO of Virsa Systems, where he grew the company into a global leader of application security software. An early pioneer in establishing governance, risk and compliance as a software market segment, he drove exponential growth at Virsa, facilitating its acquisition by SAP in 2006.

In his free time, Jasvir helps drive social and economic empowerment in the community. He’s also a trustee at the American India Foundation.