Opportunity to Provide Feedback to OSHA on the Vaccine/Testing Emergency Temporary Standard

Regulations; COVID-19

On November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing. The ETS covers employers with 100 or more employees firm or corporate-wide. Assisted living is not included in this ETS, as OSHA specifically excludes settings that were the subject of requirements in the Healthcare ETS released in July 2021, which included assisted living. If OSHA allows the Healthcare ETS to expire, this new ETS will include assisted living and possibly corporate offices of both nursing homes and assisted living organizations that meet the 100-employee threshold. The OSHA ETS does not apply to the SNF, NF, and ICF-IID providers that are covered under the CMS vaccine interim final rule.   

Providers are encouraged to make their voices heard with OSHA regarding this vaccine and testing ETS. AHCA/NCAL has set up an action center with guidance for members to submit their feedback directly to OSHA. The deadline to submit comments has been extended to January 19, 2022​.  

The OSHA rule preempts any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing. The ETS serves as an interim final rule and has a 30-day comment period. AHCA/NCAL plans to comment on the interim final rule. 

Helpful resources include:  
  • ​OSHA’s vaccine and testing ETS website which includes templates, detailed FAQs, a short webinar, and links for the full ETS and summary.  
  • AHCA/NCAL’s resource to help determine if your organization meets the 100-employee threshold.  
  • The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) free guide​ for employers on how to comply with the new ETS. 

OSHA has stated that they will examine the feasibility of expanding the ETS to smaller employers in the future. This new ETS does not change OSHA PPE requirements for COVID-19 when working with individuals who are suspected or known to have COVID-19.   

Please contact covid19@ahca.org​ with any questions.