Benefits Byte

October 13, 2021

OMB Watch: Vaccine/Testing Rules Coming Soon

Rules by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposing vaccine and testing requirements for private employers was submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on October 12, which means that the rules could be issued soon, most likely in the next few weeks. The OMB is the executive branch agency that conducts final review of regulations before they are released to the public.

As reported in the September 9 Benefits Byte, the President’s COVID-19 Action Plan announced that OSHA is developing an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), that will require employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require weekly negative COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated employees. The fact that regulations were sent to OMB indicates that OSHA has completed a draft and, assuming OMB reviews and approves the rules quickly, that the ETS will soon be released.

Also recently, an array of other significant guidance has been issued regarding COVID-19 including:

  • As reported in the June 3 Benefits Byte, the EEOC has provided guidance on how vaccine incentives and mandates are treated for purposes of various employment-related laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

The Council’s October 6 Benefits Briefing webinar, Update on COVID-19 Vaccines, Testing and Surcharges, covered these topics, including the pending OSHA rule, in detail.

If you have questions, please contact Katy Johnson, senior counsel, health policy.