AGC Challenges the Broad Application of OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine/Testing Mandate

On Nov. 4, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its long anticipated COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS).  As anticipated, the ETS requires all employers with 100 or more employees to either mandate vaccinations, or encourage vaccination or weekly testing of all employees. Those who remain unvaccinated must also wear a face covering at work. AGC will provide comments to this measure designed to fix its many flaws and continue to explore all other possible options to protect the construction industry from the many risks created by this measure. For AGC’s complete statement on the ETS release, click here.

Among other things, the ETS also requires employers to provide paid time off for employees to receive the vaccine and recover from any adverse effects experienced after being vaccinated. Four hours of paid time off is specifically mentioned for receiving the first dose, whereas employers are required to provide “reasonable” time off for recovery from the final dose of the vaccine.

Concerning testing, surprisingly, the ETS does not require employers to incur the cost unless covered by other applicable laws or collective bargaining agreements. However, the rule does not prohibit employers from paying or offsetting the cost of testing.

There are many more details contained within the OSHA ETS such as proof of vaccination status, recordkeeping, face covering requirements, reporting COVID-19 fatalities and hospitalizations to OSHA, among others that AGC will provide more in-depth summaries on in the coming days.

The ETS will go into effect immediately once published in the Federal Register, Friday, November 5. The compliance dates are December 5, 2021 for requirements other than testing form those who are not fully vaccinated and January 4, 2022 for testing of employees who have not received all doses required for vaccination.

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at or Nazia Shah at

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