May 10, 2021
We have been hearing from many of you with questions about how to encourage employee vaccination or even whether to require vaccination. For a link to our most recent bulletin on this issue, click here. Here are some additional thoughts on vaccination:
- OSHA recently issued some vaccine FAQs. Per those FAQs, if you mandate vaccines and one of your employees misses work as a result of an adverse reaction to the vaccine, that lost time incident needs to be reported on your OSHA 300 log. On the other hand, if you simply encourage vaccination – even to the point where you provide vaccination on site – such an adverse reaction is not recordable. OSHA did note that receiving the vaccination in this latter category must be truly voluntary.
- For small employers (under 500 employees) or public employers, you can provide paid time off to your employees to receive the vaccine (and recover from it) and then claim a tax credit for that amount under the FFCRA.
- Finally, providing encouragement to employees to get vaccinated doesn’t necessarily have to cost money. For example, we have heard several examples of employers relaxing mask requirements for vaccinated employees. Note that the OSHA FAQs on masks, which incorporate CDC guidelines, state that workers should wear masks at work. Other CDC guidance recommends against indoor gatherings, such as work meetings, unless all participants are masked.
Be safe and stay the course. And of course, let us know if we can help.