The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has made a significant change in requirements for employers to report side effects from coronavirus vaccines if they are administered as a condition of employment.
The OSHA FAQ page now states that employers who are mandating coronavirus vaccination as a condition of employment are no longer required to report adverse reactions to the vaccines.
According to the Horton Group, an insurance, employment benefits, and risk advisory firm, this is a distinct change from previous guidance which had clarified that an adverse reaction to the vaccine would be considered “work-related” if vaccination was required as a condition of employment. The new guidance no longer includes that statement.
The Horton Group website states, “Prior OSHA FAQs indicated that employers were required to record an employee’s adverse reaction(s) to a COVID-19 vaccination if the reaction was (1) work-related, (2) a new case and (3) met one or more of the agency’s general recording criteria. In its prior guidance, OSHA had clarified that an adverse reaction would be “work-related” if the vaccine was required as a condition of employment.”
Instead, the new FAQ states that OSHA is more concerned about encouraging vaccination than adverse reactions to the vaccine.
The new reporting requirements will stay in effect until May 2022 and will be re-evaluated at that time.