On November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Vaccine Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to establish COVID-19 vaccination, vaccination verification and workplace testing requirements for employers with over 100 employees. This ETS does not apply to independent contractors; however, real estate brokerages and some employers may impose vaccine mandates and guidelines for independent contractors that are more restrictive than the ETS. For example, an employer may develop and implement a policy requiring all workers reporting to worksites to be fully vaccinated without a testing option. The ETS will be effective beginning November 5, 2021, but employers have until January 4, 2022 to require unvaccinated employees to get fully vaccinated or to provide a negative COVID-19 test on at least a weekly basis. OSHA expects the ETS to be in effect for six months until May 5, 2022. OSHA has explained that employers do not need to completely change their vaccination policies if they had already begun to require vaccines for their workers prior to the issuance of the ETS. However, many employers may have to amend their policies to ensure compliance with the ETS.
NAR will closely watch the implementation of this rule in the real estate industry and share with OSHA any comments and concerns our members have with the ETS. OSHA seeks comment on all aspects of this ETS and how it would be adopted as a final standard. OSHA encourages commenters to explain why they prefer or disfavor particular policy choices, and to include any relevant studies, experiences, anecdotes or other information that may help support the comment.
Vaccine ETS Resources
- Department of Labor OSHA email for additional questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you have any additional questions regarding the ETS, you may submit them directly to DOL and they will update FAQs and compliance resources on the website.
- OSHA will be holding a number of briefings over the next couple of weeks to provide support to employers.
- White House Fact Sheet: Biden Administration Announced Details of Two Vaccination Policies
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Facts on the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccinations
- Vaccination and Testing ETS landing page
- Full Vaccination and Testing ETS text
- Vaccination and Testing ETS fact sheet
- Vaccination and Testing ETS FAQs
- Vaccine Policy Templates (under the “Implementation” section)
- Covid-19 Vaccination & Testing Emergency Temporary Standard Video