IFA Webinar Recap on Biden Administration’s Vaccination Mandate

News Round-Up

Following the announcement of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) of the Biden Administration’s vaccination mandate rule - and the federal court’s ruling temporarily blocking the rule - IFA held a webinar on November 10th for IFA members to learn exactly where the vaccine and testing mandate stands and how franchise employers should be preparing. Communicating the details of the rule as well as where it currently stands is time sensitive as the rule went into effect when it was released on November 5th with the first deadline for employers only 30 days away on December 5th.

Senior Vice President of Federal Government Relations and Public Policy at IFA, Michael Layman, was joined by IFA board member Greg Flynn of Flynn Restaurant Group, Cheryl Stanton of BrightStar Care, and Jim Paretti of Littler to give an update as well as their perspective of the rule. The key topics discussed were:

  • Implementation of most elements of the ETS must be established by Dec. 5 2021 including established COVID-19 vaccination policy and determining vaccination status of all employees.
  • The rule applies to employers with at least 100 employees. Part time and seasonal employees are counted in a business’s total number of employees, but not workers employed by other employers at the same location.
  • Due to IFA’s advocacy the rule makes clear that franchisors and franchisees will be counted as separate entities, “In a traditional franchisor-franchisee relationship in which each franchise location is independently owned and operated, the franchisor and franchisees would be separate entities for coverage purposes, such that the franchisor would only count “corporate” employees, and each franchisee would only count employees of that individual franchise.”
  • The ETS itself does not require that employers pay for mileage, etc. to get to test, but the ETS acknowledges that other laws may require such reimbursement such as state and local laws.
  • Currently uncertain what effect the temporary restraining order from the 5th circuit court will have on the future of the ETS.
  • Detailed FAQ available at https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets2/faqs

This webinar, as well as other pandemic related updates, from IFA provides its members with timely and relevant information on the ever-changing landscape during these unprecedented times. While it is important that there is language in the rule explicitly separating franchisors and franchisees this rule will still likely disrupt many businesses during an already chaotic time. IFA will continue to provide its members with the most up to date information regarding the ETS and other pandemic related changes as it relates to the franchise industry.

The recording of the webinar is available to view here if you missed it or would like to watch it again.