On May 21, 2021, OSHA reversed course on employer-required COVID-19 vaccinations, no longer requiring employers to record vaccine reactions. This is a great step forward for employers and is supported by both industry groups and labor unions.
As you may recall, last February OSHA originally mandated that if an employer required employees to get a vaccine, an employee’s adverse reaction to the vaccination must be recorded in their OSHA 300 workplace illness logs.
OSHA’s updated guidance no longer requires employers to record COVID-19 vaccination reactions. OSHA’s frequently asked questions page now reads:
The Department of Labor and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward.
So, at least for now, if you require your employees to get vaccinated, you no longer need to record adverse reactions to the vaccine. But, OSHA will “reevaluate” this position.
If you need help with your vaccination policies and procedures, we recommend you contact experienced construction law counsel.