Balch & Bingham's Doug Kauffman, partner and member of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice, recently spoke with the Birmingham Business Journal about the implications of OSHA's COVID Vaccine Rule for local employers.
OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard mandates employers with 100 or more employees to require employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly. The standard also calls for workers to get paid time off so that they can get vaccinated and recover from any ill effects from doing so.
In the article, Doug explains that the rule specifically states that employers are not required to pay for the test, however the cost of testing places a financial burden on hourly workers, as tests can cost anywhere between $10- $25.
“They’re going to have to weigh the cost of providing tests and resources for employees to comply versus the cost of potentially losing employees who want to go somewhere where the ETS is not applicable,” Doug said. “All that is heightened because [of the] labor shortage.”
Doug also stated that more companies may choose remote work because the rule doesn’t apply to remote workers, but in most cases, those in roles that allow for remote work are statistically more likely to be vaccinated. Another potential implication is that those who are close to retiring may decide to retire early to keep from taking the vaccine.