On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced major changes to US regulations for COVID-19 vaccinations. It’s important to understand how these Emergency Temporary Standards, or ETS, will affect you and your business. SixFifty has all the information you need about how your company and employees can navigate this mandate.

This vaccine mandate is expected to impact over 100 million Americans. The question is: how will it affect you?

Who is required to be fully vaccinated?

This mandate requires the following individuals to be fully vaccinated:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Executive branch federal employees
  • Government contractors
  • Employers with 100 or more employees must require employees to be vaccinated. If they’re not fully vaccinated, employees must be tested weekly for COVID-19.
  • Hybrid employees, those who work in an office and from home, are also required to be vaccinated or tested.

Once you know who is required to be vaccinated, you must decide how you and your business want to collect employee vaccination status. Some ways your company can collect that data are:

  • Maintain a record of vaccination card
  • Maintain a record that proof was shown
  • Employees self attest

Employees who refuse to report must be treated as unvaccinated

For federal employees, there are specific rules and guidelines to follow. A mandatory vaccination program will be required for all executive agencies. There is no testing alternative for federal employees. There are, however, some exceptions under law, including religious and medical exemptions.

Who is not required to be vaccinated under this mandate?

This mandate may not affect you and your business. For example, if your employees are working remotely100% of the time, then they are not required to be vaccinated.

You may also be unaffected if your state has its own Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The federal ETS does not apply to states that have their own OSHA. See the map below for your state’s OSHA status or click here to find your state’s plan.

How will the vaccine mandate impact small businesses?

This may apply in some states, but the mandate will mostly affect companies with over 100 employees. Having a written policy will help small businesses navigate this mandate. Small businesses should also keep up with changes to the mandate and should notify their employees when laws and guidelines change.

Sixfifty can help your company navigate this mandate and understand how your small business can adjust.

How will the vaccine mandate impact large businesses?

Larger companies will need to work harder to keep the vaccine mandate rules due to higher numbers of employees. The first thing you should do is determine your state’s OSHA standards. Next, you should create a written policy for the COVID-19 vaccine and how you will collect vaccine status or test results. This policy should be included in your employee handbook, or otherwise communicated to your employees. The vaccine mandate requires you to provide PTO for your employees to get vaccinated and tested. Updating mask mandates and monitoring changes to this vaccine mandate will be key for you and your company.

If you need help understanding your next steps, Sixfifty is here to help.

How can you and your company prepare for this vaccine mandate?

OSHA has never issued an ETS of this magnitude, and if you’re a business owner then you might feel overwhelmed. But complying with this mandate essentially comes down to 3 steps:

  1. Think through the relevant issues, such as how you will collect vaccination status, or whether your employees will work in the office or from home.
  2. Create a strong policy foundation. This means having policies in place about how employees report their vaccine status, or requiring unvaccinated employees to work from home.
  3. Communicate these policies and values to your employees so everyone is on the same page.

How SixFifty can Help!

SixFifty has helped hundreds of organizations navigate the new way we work. We’re here to assist you and your company comply with this vaccine mandate with less money, less time, and less stress. We regularly update our Return-to-Work toolset to help you and your business. For more information, check out SixFifty’s recent Vaccine Mandate webinar or request a demo of our Vaccine Policy solution.

Still have questions? Schedule a free demo today!


Adrienne Jack

Written by Adrienne Jack

Adrienne Jack is a Vice President of Legal Product at SixFifty, focusing on employment law. She’s enjoyed riding the roller coaster of employment law the past two years. With remote working as the new normal, companies have employees across the nation and more employment laws and issues to navigate than ever before. As employment law changes at an unparalleled rate...

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