WASHINGTON, DC – As detailed in a speech from President Biden, and in writing at whitehouse.gov (https://www.whitehouse.gov/covidplan/), OSHA is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. It’s estimated that this requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100+ employees.
Requiring Vaccinations For Federal Workers and Contractors
WASHINGTON, DC – Building on the July announcement to strengthen safety requirements for unvaccinated federal workers, President Biden has signed an Executive Order to take those actions a step further and require all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated. Biden also signed an order directing that this standard be extended to employees of contractors who do business with the federal government. As part of this effort, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institutes of Health will complete implementation of their previously announced vaccination requirements that cover 2.5 million people.
Anti-Retaliation Provision Gets Final Interpretation
WASHINGTON, DC – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published a final interpretive rule that changes a rule interpreting the anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
In 1973, OSHA established Part 1977 – Discrimination against Employees under OSH Act of 1970 that contains interpretive regulations and procedures governing the agency’s administration of cases under section 11(c), which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees because they have engaged in protected activity, including complaining about unsafe or unhealthful working conditions.
The revised final interpretive rule clarifies the causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action (29 CFR 1977.6). This change brings the provision in line with the Supreme Court’s holdings in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, and Bostock v. Clay County, Georgia. The agency also revised the regulation by adding terms to reflect the full scope of section 11(c)’s prohibition against retaliation.
The final rule took effect Sept. 3, 2021. Learn more about whistleblower protections.
Roofing Company Tops Million Mark In Q2 OSHA Fines
SNOHOMISH, WA – According to a press release from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, a Snohomish roofing company with an extensive history of worker safety violations is facing more than $1.2 million in fines for disregarding the same rules it violated a year ago. Responding to complaints from the public that workers roofing on top of homes had no protection from falls, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) inspected Allways Roofing at three job sites in Snohomish and one in Lake Stevens.
Inspectors found 12 serious violations, including employees engaged in roofing work on a steep pitch roof with no fall protection installed, ladders not set up or used correctly, and workers not wearing eye protection while using pneumatic nail guns. All but one of the 12 violations were repeats of previous safety issues at the company’s job sites. Nine general violations were found including the company not holding safety meetings or documenting safety inspections. The total fines are $1,242,807.