New OSHA COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations for Your Business

Woman Mask Desk

Under the OSHA Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment, free from hazards that can cause serious harm. On June 10, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posted new guidance to protect at-risk and unvaccinated employees from COVID-19 in the workplace. 

Requirements

Part of this new guidance is recommended, while the regulations for healthcare workplaces are requirements set by the mandatory COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, with limited exceptions. The ETS is effective immediately, and employers must comply with most provisions within 14 to 30 days. Find out if your workplace is covered by the COVID-19 Healthcare ETS here.

Highlights of the ETS requirements include: 

  • Developing a COVID-19 policy in writing if you have 10+ employees 
  • Providing and ensuring each employee wears a facemask or other PPE
  • Health screens at entrances where direct patient care is provided

Recommendations

Additional guidance for employers:

  • Provide paid time off if your employees want to get vaccinated. While there is no federal law for granting paid time off for vaccinations, some states are setting their own regulations. Watch our HR experts break down vaccine mandates in the workplace here
  • If an employee is sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home. Creating a culture that encourages employees to stay home when they are sick often starts with your workplace policies
  • Maintain physical distancing for at-risk employees in common areas of your workplace. You may be able to set occupancy limits in specific spaces, create flexible work hours, or remote work options.
  • Provide face coverings at no cost to at-risk employees, unless their role requires a respirator or other PPE. You may need to make reasonable accommodations if an employee can’t wear a face covering.
  • Employees should be able to access and understand your COVID-19 policies and procedures easily. This starts with training managers on COVID-19 policies and communicating those policies frequently.
  • Report COVID-19 cases to OSHA. Employers are responsible for recording work-related cases of COVID-19 illness on OSHA’s Form 300 logs.
  • Make it easy for employees to discuss COVID-19-related hazards. Employees should know where to go with concerns about their safety at work and that there will be no retaliation for sharing those concerns. 

You’ll find additional guidance for employers and employees on OSHA’s website. Nextep’s HR experts are here to help if you have questions! Contact us online or call us at 888-811-5150.

Also on Nextep

Did you know partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) can lower your company’s risk?  There are plenty of ways a PEO can take the burden of compliance off your plate to focus on company goals, attracting top talent, and being an employer of choice among competitors.  Here are some notable benefits of partnering with […]
Read more
After multiple delays, Texas officially released its new, increased SUTA rates, creating additional tax payments for many companies. While SUTA rate notices typically occur at the end of each year, many were delayed due to COVID-19. With unprecedented unemployment claims, state unemployment funds were depleted quickly. This rise in unemployment also affected the state SUTA […]
Read more
Minimum wages across many cities and a handful of states will increase on July 1, 2021. As a reminder, when state law differs from federal law, employers must use the one that benefits the employee the most. For example, if a state’s minimum wage is higher than the $7.25 federal minimum wage, it must be […]
Read more
There are many new or updated state laws or employers that will go into effect on July 1, 2021. If your state has an update, you’ll find it below. As with any other regulation, laws are subject to last-minute changes, visit the Department of Labor online for more info. You can also find minimum wage […]
Read more
We recently reported that President Trump signed an executive order and three memoranda for COVID relief. With no interference thus far from Congress, those orders are scheduled to become active September 1.  One of the memoranda we are most frequently asked about is the “payroll tax holiday.” This provision gives employers the option to let employees […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees. Updated ADA guidelines have been issued in light of COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting unique challenges to people from all walks of life. In times such as these, we see people join together to fight for the common good — […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees. On March 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced flexible guidelines to the requirements related to Form I-9, due to COVID-19.  Employers may obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the documents their employees provide to complete Section 2 of […]
Read more
The Federal Government released an updated I-9 form  On January 31, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security published a new I-9 form for employers to use for all new-hires. Use of the new form will become mandatory on May 1, 2020.  The I-9 form is used to verify identity and employment authorization for people hired […]
Read more
Get your calculators ready — tax season officially starts on January 27, 2020, according to the IRS. We’ll be sending W-2s directly to employee homes for our clients no later than January 31, 2020. Here’s how you can get a headstart on the upcoming tax season.  Get Organized Tax filing can be a tedious task, […]
Read more
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced its final decision on the calculation of the regular rate of pay, effective on January 15, 2020. The new rule clarifies common overtime pay issues and will allow employers to offer perks and benefits to their employees more efficiently.   Previous rules about the regular rate of pay Under […]
Read more
The Department of Homeland Security has announced changes to the I-9 form.  The federal government’s I-9 form expired in August 2019, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is instructing employers to use the expired version until they release an updated form.The I-9 form is used to verify identity and employment authorization for people hired […]
Read more
The DOL proposed changes to overtime pay and exemptions; it’s time to prepare.  The Department of Labor (DOL) finalized changes to overtime regulations—a move that will change the exempt status of millions of American workers, making them eligible for overtime pay.  Nextep is preparing clients for the planned changes leading up to the 2020 effective […]
Read more

Download Our App