In order to comply with OSHA’s vax-and-test regulations and related Florida Law, you must have a plan in place by January 10.
What to do now (Florida law applies to all full-time, part-time and contract employees)
Florida law applies to all full-time, part-time and contract employees. Under the current state of affairs, without additional guidance having been presented as to whether the new federal requirements preempt Florida law, the only way for you to comply with both the emergency federal COVID rule and state law is to:
1) Adopt a policy requiring employees be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID testing
2) Require all unvaccinated employees wear a mask while at work
3) As the employer, pay for the testing of unvaccinated employees (Florida law)
Neither the federal rule nor state law requires businesses with less than 100 employees to adopt any policy with respect to COVID. It appears that the rule will look at the total number of employees of companies affiliated by common ownership and management to determine whether the 100 employee threshold is reached. Businesses with less than 100 employees do not need to take any action at this time.
OSHA has published a sample policy that you can tailor to your business which provides that unvaccinated employees must be tested. Remember that Florida law requires that an employer pay for testing.
The law does provide for accommodations for employees with ADA-covered disabilities or other medical circumstances that prevent them from receiving the vaccine and for those with sincerely-held religious beliefs. The State of Florida Department of Health provides forms for use when considering these exemptions, which can be found HERE:
If your employees fail to comply with the dealership’s written policies you can terminate them.
If your employees agree to be vaccinated/tested you must provide time off as stated in the sample policy.
As always, please continue to consult legal counsel regarding how to handle your specific issues and remember these two deadlines:
- Beginning January 10, 2022, you can be fined if you have not implemented a plan and required unvaccinated employees to wear masks at work.
- Beginning February 9, 2022, employers that have implemented a plan that permits unvaccinated employees to be tested at least once a week must have the testing component in place.