UD employees required to vaccinate or be tested per federal mandate

The university announced the updated policy Tuesday. The policy is to be in compliance with rules set forth by OSHA. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Kaitlin Lewis | Online Editor-in-Chief 

All employees at the University of Dayton are once again required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, per an email announcement sent by the university Tuesday.

According to the announcement, the policy is in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration emergency temporary standard (ETS).

The policy – which includes student employees – requires employees to be vaccinated by Feb. 9. Any employees who are not vaccinated, even if due to an exemption, will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing at that date.

According to the university, unvaccinated employees are responsible for finding their own proctored COVID-19 tests. Proctored tests include tests administered by a medical professional or, if self-administered, the test must be overseen by a telehealth proctor. Employees then must provide the test results to their supervisor. 

Per OSHA’s policy, all employees who do not work in a shared workplace, such as employees who work 100% remotely or work exclusively outdoors, are excluded from the vaccination and testing requirements.

OSHA’s policy was first enacted in November 2021. At the time, the Department of Labor estimated that the vaccine mandate would prevent 250,000 hospitalizations due to COVID-19. 

Under OSHA’s rule, workplaces with 100 or more employees are required to adhere by the following practices: 

  • Employers must determine the vaccination status of each employee.
  • Employers must support vaccination efforts among employees, including providing reasonable time to receive the vaccine. OSHA’s policy includes up to four hours of paid time for employees to receive the vaccine. 
  • Employers must provide reasonable time and paid sick leave to recover from any side effects due to the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Any unvaccinated employee returning to work after being away for a week or longer must be tested for COVID-19 within seven days of returning to the workplace.

Further information regarding the OSHA ETS can be found here.

UD halted their previous vaccine mandate in December after a ruling by the U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhoev blocked employers from mandating vaccines in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard an oral argument on the validity of the OSHA vaccine rule. According to the New York Times, the Supreme Court is leaning towards blocking the mandate over skepticism that the federal administration has the legal power to exert such a policy. 

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