AGC Seeks Meeting with White House; Engaged Legal Counsel
On October 12, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) sent its draft emergency temporary standard (ETS) to the White House for review, a signal that a final ETS could be issued within a matter of days or weeks. The OSHA ETS will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or mandate that any workers who remain unvaccinated produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis. AGC plans to meet with the White House to share a host of concerns about the ETS. It should be noted, however, that AGC engaged outside legal counsel weeks ago to provide a legal memorandum that identifies the standards that OSHA must meet to justify using the ETS process instead of the normal administrative procedures that are typically employed. After AGC reviews the final, published ETS, the association will measure it against its legal memorandum to determine whether a court challenge is warranted and evaluate our chances for success.
AGC and its members have encouraged voluntary COVID-19 vaccination for their employees since the vaccines became available. The construction industry has proven throughout the pandemic that it can work in a safe and essential manner. OSHA has previously deemed many construction activities as low exposure risks.