What Employers Should Know About the Executive Vaccine and Testing Mandates

ARCpoint Labs showcasing what employers should know about the executive COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandates

 

Announced on July 9, 2021, President Biden’s Path Out of the Pandemic Plan outlines a detailed strategy for effectively navigating – and combating – the widespread surge of COVID-19 cases stemming from the Delta variant.

One of the core focus areas of the six-pronged plan zeroes in on vaccination in an attempt to address the nearly 80 million Americans who have yet to receive their first COVID-19 shot. A vaccination and testing mandate has been proposed, placing specific requirements on a large percentage of U.S. employers. And while there are some details still in question, it is abundantly clear that employers should begin thinking about the potential impact on their businesses and preparing as much as possible.

To assist employers and business owners, we’ve created a useful guide that discusses the most important things to know about the proposed COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandates. Together, we can ensure that you’re well-equipped to keep business moving forward safely, efficiently, and successfully.

What Do the COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Mandates Say?

 

Although the Path Out of the Pandemic Plan features several strategies, the one garnering the most attention appears to be the proposed mandate for vaccination and testing for businesses with more than 100 employees. The White House has estimated that this new mandate will affect over 80 million workers throughout America’s private sector.

The mandate requires OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard, requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to:

    • Ensure employees are fully vaccinated, OR
    • Require unvaccinated employees to provide a negative COVID-19 test result on a weekly basis (at minimum) to be allowed at work.

 

Vaccinations will be mandatory for all workers in the federal executive branch, government contractors, and healthcare staff at Medicare and Medicaid participating facilities (with no opt-out testing option).

Paid time off must be provided for (most) workers to get vaccinated and any workers who experience adverse effects after their vaccination.

Ultimately, this mandate has a multi-faceted goal: to encourage vaccination among the unvaccinated, provide health protections for the vaccinated (or those unable to be vaccinated), and implement targeted strategies to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

What the Proposed Vaccine Mandate Means for Employers

 

For many employers, news of the mandate has been received with mixed reactions. While there is no doubt that enacting mitigation strategies to support national health (and workplace safety) is a plus, there are concerns regarding the practical implementation of the mandate.

Some of the most common concerns expressed by employers include:

    • How to facilitate testing for unvaccinated employees
    • Where to get weekly COVID-19 testing, even as demand for testing increases
    • Testing availability/results return time
    • How to manage recordkeeping and related administration tasks
    • How to approach a protocol for employee testing
    • Where to get support in implementing required measures
    • How/if medical and religious exemptions are to be handled
    • Whether they will cover the cost of testing or make other arrangements on behalf of employees
    • How to enforce the mandate without overstepping legalities
    • Potential decrease in hourly workers’ willingness to work, potentially increasing the labor shortage for large corporations

 

Although there has not yet been an exact deadline discussed for approving and beginning to implement the mandate, it is possible that OSHA’s ETS could be issued within a matter of weeks. Employers would likely have upwards of 90 days after the ETS has been published to implement the mandate. However, beginning to consider your organization’s plans for implementation is the best way to make sure you’re adequately prepared.

How Employers Can Prepare for the Executive Testing and Vaccine Mandates

 

Due to the complexity of the task ahead, it’s best to partner with a professional. Regardless of the size or type of your business, managing everything involved requires a significant investment of time and effort. Add to that the necessity of juggling legalities, employee needs, cost-effective measures, and implementing the mandate’s rules is a full-time job.

As you begin to think about your plan for complying with the executive mandate, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • There are various testing options available, including Same-Day Viral Testing (Antigen), Rapid Viral Testing (PCR), Pooled Viral Testing (PCR), and Traditional Lab-Based Viral Testing (PCR). It’s important to determine which option is best suited for your business’s needs.
    • Although there are over-the-counter test kits available, conducting COVID testing in the workplace with this method can become problematic. Not only could there be legal concerns and privacy issues, but it would also require a considerable amount of time on an ongoing basis, not to mention potentially navigating supply chain issues as tests become more in demand.
    • It’s important to have a clear, legally sound testing surveillance plan and protocol in place. If an employee attempts to legally challenge the required testing, it will be vital to have solid documentation to protect your business.

 

ARCpoint Labs is one of the nation’s leading providers of COVID-19 testing, in addition to a broad range of other lab testing solutions for employers. For the duration of the pandemic, we have been successfully operating multiple laboratories across the U.S. and providing quick, reliable COVID-19 testing. As such, we are ideally equipped to support employers in meeting the requirements of the national mandate.

Our extensive expertise in testing policy development and training will serve as an outstanding advantage to clients. Historically, our laboratory teams have led the industry in providing outstanding flexibility to accommodate clients’ needs. From helicoptering to oil rigs in the gulf to traveling to film sets around the country, ARCpoint Labs has consistently facilitated concierge services and on-site testing that exceeds client expectations. We will set up safe, clean facilities for your employees to visit for regular testing, streamlining the process for all parties involved.

ARCpoint Labs will assemble a customized COVID-19 testing surveillance program for your business, ensuring compliance, keeping your workplace safe, and keeping your business on track. In addition to facilitating all testing, we will manage appropriate documentation. Essentially, you can turn the entire task over to our team – let us take care of it for you.

ARCpoint Labs: Your Trusted COVID-19 Testing Provider

 

Flexible, efficient, and highly professional, ARCpoint Labs’ COVID-19 testing services will streamline your efforts to comply with the fast-approaching national vaccine and testing mandate. We will help you ensure that your business continues to operate safely and following all regulations and provide you with the freedom to focus on your day-to-day work.

For more information about the executive vaccine and testing mandate, please contact the ARCpoint Labs nearest you today.

 

Featured Image: Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock

Social Share