On Tuesday, November 16, the Board of Directors of The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution opposing the pending OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would require employers with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations or weekly testing of workers. The ETS has been blocked temporarily by a Federal Circuit Court. The Chamber is also urging OSHA to delay any implementation of the ETS pending a final ruling.
As it’s currently published, employers need to have a vaccination plan in place and require unvaccinated employees to wear masks as of December 5th. The vaccination/testing requirement would take effect January 4. This requires businesses already struggling with employee shortages to devote resources to this process and implement policies that could make it even more difficult to attract and retain employees. While employers do not have to pay for vaccinations or testing, the availability and costs of weekly testing are of concern for employers and employees. Whether or not employees who fail to comply would be eligible for unemployment benefits is unclear.
The ETS is a result of an Executive Order by President Biden to compel individuals to get vaccinated. The Chamber Board feels that this “creates an excessive and inappropriate burden on employers” being put in the position of enforcing the order.
Copies of the resolution are being sent to Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey and Representative Dan Meuser.