OSHA Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Risks for Unvaccinated and At-Risk Workers
Focus is on Identifying/Mitigating Risks

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration released revised guidance to help identify COVID-19 exposure risks for unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers and to help prevent exposure and infection. Unless otherwise required by federal, state or local law, most employers no longer need to put protections in place for fully vaccinated workers who are not otherwise at-risk from COVID-19 exposure. The revised guidance recommends:

  1. Granting paid time off for employees to get vaccinated.
  2. Instructing infected workers, unvaccinated workers with exposure to someone testing positive for COVID-19, and workers with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home from work.
  3. Implementing physical distancing in communal work areas for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers.
  4. Providing unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers with face coverings.
  5. Suggesting that unvaccinated customers, visitors or guests wear face coverings.
  6. Continuing to perform routine cleaning and disinfection.
  7. Implementing protections from retaliation.

The guidance covers these issues and other protective measures in detail. As with other OSHA guidance, these suggestions technically are not mandatory and create no new legal obligations. However, OSHA will consider an employer’s good faith efforts to comply with its guidance in the context of enforcement.

Many states have OSHA-approved plans with health and safety standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA’s but with different or more stringent mandates. Most states and many local governments have instituted emergency COVID-19-related measures and have imposed stricter or different employment laws applicable to dealership operations. Look to state and metro dealer associations for specifics on these state and local requirements. For more information, see NADA’s Coronavirus Hub, including the revised FAQs: Dealership Health and Safety Concerns During a Pandemic or contact NADA Regulatory Affairs at [email protected].