OSHA TESTING RULE:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
To protect Americans during the continuing pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced a new federal mandate that requires companies to ensure employees are tested weekly for COVID-19 or provide proof of vaccination. Deadlines for compliance are:
- December 5: Employees who have not provided proof of vaccination must wear a mask while indoors
- January 5: Employees will need to test weekly or show proof of vaccination.
The rule defines Covered Employees based largely on their individual duties and working conditions. As the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and we interpret the rule, this does not include most, though not all, or our professional truck drivers. Subsequent statements from the Department of Labor appear to support this interpretation of the rule.
However, office and shop employees as well as some professional commercial truck drivers will not be exempt. We will know more soon about who this includes, but here’s what we know so far:
- Vaccination is not a requirement to work at U.S. Xpress. It is your choice.
- We will provide company-paid COVID-19 testing for employees who are not vaccinated.
- The new OSHA rule requires that anyone who is not vaccinated wear a mask when indoors, effective December 5th.
- New drivers coming into orientation will need to comply with the OSHA rule while they’re in orientation either being tested and wearing a mask or showing proof of vaccination.
There are many moving pieces—we’ll keep you updated as we learn more information about the scope of this rule. We’re doing the best we can to remain compliant with the new OSHA rule while making options available for everyone within the U.S. Xpress family of companies.
Answers to Your Important Questions
Am I at risk of losing my job if I do not get vaccinated?
No! As a responsible industry leader, we will comply with the OSHA rule. But we’ll also make as many options available to our people as possible. Everyone will have the choice to perform weekly COVID-19 testing (and masking indoors) or show proof of vaccination.
Will the company pay for weekly testing?
Though not required by the OSHA rule, U.S. Xpress and our family of companies will pay the cost of weekly testing for those employees affected.
What if I work at a customer location that has vaccine requirements?
Our customers, and all private businesses, have the right to require vaccinations for entry to their sites. So, if our customers require vaccinations to be onsite, we will all comply with their wishes.
Do I need to have a booster to be compliant with the OSHA rule?
At this time, the OSHA rule requires one Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two shots of either Moderna or Pfizer OR weekly testing and masking inside facilities. No booster shots are part of the requirement at this time.
Should I send in my vaccine card now? And where should it go?
Our HR team is currently finalizing a plan to compile all employees’ vaccination records. This information will be captured electronically and once logged, you won’t need to continue to prove vaccination.
Will U.S. Xpress provide paid time off for getting vaccinated or recovering from any side effects of vaccinations?
Yes, we will provide paid time off for people who need time to get vaccinated or recover from any side effects associated the vaccine.
If you have further questions, please speak with your HR Business Partner.