OSHA COVID-19 vaccine rule goes to White House

October 13, 2021

Land Line Staff

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s rule regarding a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees is under review at the White House.

Although there are no specific details on what the rule will be, the step means that a formal release is likely in the coming weeks.

On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden announced sweeping COVID-19 vaccination mandates. The measures included a vaccine mandate for all federal workers and contractors, as well as requirements that companies with 100 or more employees mandate the vaccine or regular testing.

OSHA was tasked with developing the 100 or more employee rule.

The vaccine rule is not specific to the trucking industry, and it is unclear exactly how the rule will be applied to truck drivers.

Most small-business truckers are not expected to fall under the vaccine mandate. According to statistics from the OOIDA Foundation, 96% of motor carriers have no more than 25 drivers, and 99% have no more than 100 drivers. Statistics on the number of employees weren’t immediately available.

It also is not certain if truck drivers will be viewed differently than employees at an office building with more than 100 workers.

“Company drivers are a little different,” Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs, said in September. “They’re not spending the majority of their time in the workplace with other people. They’re spending most of their time by themselves or with one passenger in a team driver situation.”

Avoiding disruptions in the supply chain and improving truck driver retention have been priorities of the Biden administration in recent months.

It is possible that the administration will try to avoid further disruptions to the supply chain by potentially exempting many truck drivers from the 100-employee mandate. Throughout the pandemic, there have been various exemptions made for the transportation workforce and truck drivers because they are deemed to be essential workers. LL

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