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A COVID-19 Vaccination Card

Manage Employee COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Nov. 5, 2021, requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to comply with most provisions of the standard by Dec. 6, 2021, with testing requirements effective Jan. 4, 2022.

Is your business prepared to handle the complexities of tracking and maintaining compliance? Employers indicated this was one of their top concerns in a Paychex COVID-19 Research Report prior to the mandate from the ETS1.

What Your Business Should Know About the ETS 

ETS in the Courts

OSHA published COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard on Nov. 5, 2021. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order on Nov. 12 reaffirming its order staying enforcement of the ETS until further court order.

OSHA cannot take steps to compel compliance with the ETS, or enforce it, while the stay is in effect. On Nov. 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was selected by lottery to review all pending actions challenging the ETS filed in the circuit courts.

Also, on Nov. 30, a federal judge halted implementation nationwide of the vaccine mandate issued in the Interim Final Rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It required vaccinations of healthcare workers at institutions that accept Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Requirements under ETS

Under the ETS, covered employers must ensure: 

  • Employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, or
  • Unvaccinated employees test negative on a weekly basis
  • Unvaccinated employees wear masks when indoors 
  • Unvaccinated employees wear masks when in a vehicle with another person
  • Paid leave provided for employees to be vaccinated and to recover from vaccine side effects 

Employee Vaccination Tracking

Expanded functionality in our Document Management tool is available for Paychex HR Solution and PEO customers as well as those with Paychex Flex® Enterprise for tracking employee COVID-19 vaccinations and testing. This add-on helps employers restrict access and maintain the confidentiality required to manage COVID-19 vaccination status.

a rapid covid test
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Track COVID-19 Vaccinations Under OSHA's ETS

With our employee COVID-19 vaccination tracking in Paychex Flex®, businesses can drive efficiency by leveraging self-service and mobile capabilities.

Send notifications

Remind employees to update vaccination status with a click of a button.

Uploading capabilities

Employees can deliver electronically their vaccination card or their COVID-19 test results.

Digital Forms

Provide an electronic daily health attestation form to employees.

Tracking Ability

Live Reports in Paychex Flex® allows administrators to track employee documentation uploads.

Discover the Benefits of Our Document Management Tool

This solution, which provides role-based access, allows users to manage documents efficiently and effectively at any time, including in case of an audit or a natural disaster. 

  • Storage of company-level documents, such as policies and handbooks. Plus, take advantage of Intranet-type functionality
  • Distribution of documents for e-signature or acknowledgement
  • Storage of employee level-documentation such as certifications
  • Signage of documentation related to pay such as direct deposit authorization and W4s 
  • The ability to request that an employee upload a document
  • The ability to report on documents expiring

Vaccination Tracking Help

Paychex offers a second solution for a fee that includes collection and management of COVID-19 vaccination and testing documentation through third-party vendor, HireRight.

COVID-19 testing kits also are available with rapid antigen tests that can be easily administered on-site, with results available in 15 to 30 minutes. For more details, email eescreening@paychex.com and view this video.

Hire Right Vaccination Tracking

FAQs: Emergency Temporary Standard

  • What are the basic requirements of the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS?

    What are the basic requirements of the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS?

    Employers with 100 or more employees are required, in part, under OSHA’s ETS to:

    • Institute either a mandatory vaccination policy or a policy that gives covered employees the choice to either get vaccinated or be tested weekly and wear a mask at work 
    • Provide a reasonable amount of time for employees to be vaccinated and provide paid time off at the employee’s regular rate of pay to get vaccinated (up to four hours per dose) 
    • Provide a reasonable amount of time and paid sick leave to recover from the side effects following a vaccination dose
  • How does the recent court decision on the ETS impact employers?

    How does the recent court decision on the ETS impact employers?

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the stay it issued Nov. 6, 2021, preventing enforcement of the ETS. While the stay is in effect, OSHA cannot compel or enforce compliance with the ETS. On Nov. 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was selected by lottery to review all pending actions challenging the ETS filed in the circuit courts. However, employers should continue to prepare and take steps to be compliant with the requirements of the ETS until there is a final court ruling offering resolution. 

  • What are the penalties for noncompliance with the ETS?

    What are the penalties for noncompliance with the ETS?

    The current penalty for an OHSA violation is just under $14,000 per violation. Penalties can increase significantly for repeated or willful violations or if the situation is not remedied.

  • Which employees count toward the minimum threshold of 100?

    Which employees count toward the minimum threshold of 100?

    Employers must include all employees across all of their U.S. workplaces, regardless of vaccination status — part-time employees, temporary and seasonal employees and employees who work at home or remotely count toward the 100. However, independent contractors and persons employed by staffing agencies (and not the employer) do not count toward the threshold. 

  • What if a business is in a state that has its own OSHA-approved State Plan?

    What if a business is in a state that has its own OSHA-approved State Plan?

    Employers in the 21 states and one U.S. territory with OSHA-approved State Plans will be subject to the State Plans, which must enact rules identical to or at least as effective as the federal ETS.   

  • What if an employer is already subject to another federal vaccine mandate?

    What if an employer is already subject to another federal vaccine mandate?

    The ETS does not apply to workplaces where employees are covered under the federal contractor vaccination requirements, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services vaccine mandate or OSHA’s Healthcare ETS from June 21, 2021. 

  • Does the ETS require employers to pay for employee time spent getting vaccinated?

    Does the ETS require employers to pay for employee time spent getting vaccinated?

    Yes. Employers must provide a reasonable amount of time to each employee for each of their primary vaccination dose(s), including up to 4 hours of paid time at the employee’s regular rate of pay if a vaccine is received during work hours. Employers may not require employees to use other forms of accrued paid time off, such as sick leave, vacation, or Paid Time Off, for this purpose.  

    However, under the ETS, if an employee chooses to receive a vaccination outside of work hours, then employers are not required to grant paid time to receive the vaccine.   

  • Who pays for COVID-19 testing?

    Who pays for COVID-19 testing?

    The ETS does not require employers to pay for costs associated with testing, but does not prohibit it. However, payment for testing may be required by other laws. Passing on the cost of testing to employees could also implicate wage and hours laws. 

  • What records are employers required to keep?

    What records are employers required to keep?

    Required records include the employer’s written policy, employee vaccination records and COVID-19 test results, as well as the creation and maintaining of a roster of all employees and their vaccination status. 

  • Where can I find more details about the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS?

    Where can I find more details about the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS?

    Go to the Paychex Knowledge Center to read an article with more-detailed and additional FAQs.