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Employment Attorney Keith Wilkes Addresses Vaccine Mandate - Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M)

September 10, 2021

Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M)

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New Vaccine Mandates to Affect Millions of Contractors

According to Keith Wilkes, a labor and employment partner/shareholder at the national law firm Hall Estill, "The emergency OSHA rule, which will require all private-sector employers with at least 100 employees to mandate vaccinations in their workforce or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis, is expected to impact over 80 million private-sector workers."

Wilkes goes on to say, "OSHA, which falls under the U.S. Department of Labor, will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement the new rule. Although the timing of when the ETS requirement will go into effect is not clear, it will likely not be a long wait.

He adds, “Employers impacted by the new OSHA rule will be required to explore whether reasonable accommodation exists for those employees who seek refuge from the vaccination mandate because of a sincerely held religious belief, or a disability-based reason. Absent falling into one of those two categories, unvaccinated private-sector employees who fall under this new rule will have no choice but to obtain full vaccination if they wish to keep their current job."