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On Friday, November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19. The ETS relies on measures and options that strongly encourage vaccination.
In its issuance of the ETS in the Federal Register, OSHA noted that the ETS applied to the U.S. Postal Service because the Occupational and Safety Health Act—which authorizes the ETS and covers private employers—recognizes the Postal Service as a covered private employer.
Under the ETS, covered employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work. By December 6, covered employers must comply with all requirements other than testing. This includes establishing a vaccination policy, determining employee vaccination status, providing the requisite paid time off, and ensuring that unvaccinated employees are masked. Beginning on January 4, 2022, unvaccinated employees must undergo weekly testing. Any employee who has received all doses of the vaccine by January 4 does not have to be tested.
NAPS has begun its review of the emergency temporary standard, including its impact on the Postal Service and its employees. NAPS has not yet received any communication from the USPS on how the ETS will be rolled out.
NAPS continues to support the operations of the USPS within all laws and rules applicable to the USPS.
Thank you and be safe.