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OSHA ETS FAQ for Union Craft Team Members

On November 4, 2021 OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19 vaccination and testing. The ETS impacts any business with more than 100 employees; Barton Malow Company, which employs over 2,400 team members, is therefore required to comply with this order wherever we are working across the United States.

Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not addressed below, please reach out to any of the following contacts:

What is the current legal status of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) involving team member COVID-19 vaccination/testing requirements?

On December 17, 2021, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which requires certain vaccination and/or testing requirements for team members.

The Supreme Court for the United States announced that it will entertain oral arguments challenging the ETS on January 7, 2022. However, with the stay lifted, we must continue our work to ensure compliance with OSHA’s ETS requirements.  

What is OSHA’s revised compliance timeline regarding enforcement of its ETS?

The ETS requires Barton Malow to have an established masking policy in place and have made good faith efforts to collect and determine the vaccination status of all team members by January 10, 2022. By law, effective February 9, 2022, the ETS will require Barton Malow to begin weekly testing of unvaccinated team members.

*Please note: If the courts do not uphold the ETS and we are not required by law to implement its requirements, we will not move forward with a testing mandate for our team members.  

How will Barton Malow Company ensure compliance with OSHA’s ETS requirements?

We will continue our compliance efforts by asking our team members to complete a brief electronic survey to determine the vaccination status of our team members. The survey has been developed in consultation with our business partner, Qualtrics. The survey will be completed by union craft team members using a QR code, which will be available on our jobsites. The survey gives team members a simple way to provide the requested information in just a few minutes while at their jobsite.   

What is Qualtrics?

Qualtrics is a software provider that has recently developed a vaccine and testing tracking module. The solution allows organizations to be HIPAA compliant and store all information on a secure and HITRUST certified platform. All team member vaccination data is kept separate from other personal health information and team member personnel files. In addition, data will only be accessible to a small number of HR team members.

How will data from the survey be shared, and who will receive it?

We do not anticipate sharing personal data with anyone outside a small group of our HR team members. The only occasion to share personal data would be an OSHA compliance review. Non-personalized information will only be reported in aggregate, as required by the ETS (e.g., the percentage of team members that have shown proof of vaccination).

I have already submitted proof of my vaccine to HR due to an owner requirement. Do I need to submit it again?

No. If you have already submitted a copy of your vaccine card to HR, no further action is required.

If I am unvaccinated, must I become vaccinated to continue working at Barton Malow Company?

No, Barton Malow has no intentions of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for our team members as a requirement to work on our jobsites. However, if the ETS becomes law, it will require our unvaccinated team members to complete a weekly COVID-19 test beginning the week of February 9, 2022.   

If a team member refuses to comply, when will their last day be?

Our sincere hope and firm desire to not lose any team members as a result of the ETS. Only team members who choose not to show proof of vaccination will be asked to test, and we are committed to making the testing process as seamless as possible.

Will Barton Malow entertain religious or medical exemptions?

Barton Malow is not mandating vaccines, therefore no exemptions are applicable. Regardless, the ETS does not remove the weekly testing requirement for those exempted.

Does the ETS require booster shots?

No, booster shots are not required by the ETS. 

What if my project has fewer than 100 Barton Malow team members?

The order applies to the total number of team members an employer has across all sites.

What if a team member recently recovered from COVID-19?

If you are unvaccinated and recover from COVID-19, you are not required to undergo testing for 90 days following the positive test or diagnosis.

What will the weekly testing protocol look like?

We are still working through that process. We will know more once we have an idea of how many team members will need to be tested weekly. More information will come as the team works through protocol and options.

If I decide to get vaccinated, will I be paid for the time away from my jobsite? What if I have side effects?

If you are unvaccinated and choose to get vaccinated between now and February 9, the ETS requires Barton Malow to provide you with paid time off to receive the vaccine, as well as paid time off if you experience a reaction and need time to recover.

What if my work is performed exclusively outdoors? What qualifies as work done exclusively outdoors under the ETS?

To qualify as work performed exclusively outdoors, the following criteria must be met:

  • The team member must work outdoors on all days (i.e., an employee who works indoors on some days and outdoors on other days would not be exempt from the requirements of this ETS).
  • The team member must not routinely occupy vehicles with other team members as part of work duties (i.e., do not drive to worksites together in a company vehicle).
  • The team member works outdoors for the duration of every workday except for minimal use of indoor spaces where other individuals may be present, such as a multi-stall bathroom or an administrative office, as long as the time spent indoors is brief or occurs exclusively in the employee’s home (e.g., a lunch break at home).

The team member’s work must truly occur outdoors, which does not include buildings under construction where substantial portions of the structure are in place, such as walls and ceiling elements that impede the natural flow of fresh air at the worksite.

Will I have to pay for my weekly test if I’m not vaccinated?

No, we do not intend to have our team members pay for their testing.