Eden Prairie Schools’ employees will be asked later this week to submit proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing, according to a notice sent to district employees on Jan. 11.
The implementation date of the requirements was not specified in the notice. However, the district could face penalties for non-compliance beginning Feb. 9, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The notice, sent by the district’s human resources department, said the district is compelled to implement the requirements laid out in OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) now, despite an impending U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
“The school district is required under state law to begin compliance of this new requirement (Jan. 11),” according to the notice. “While we are aware that the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments (Jan. 7) in an appeal of a lower court ruling … at this point, we need to begin collecting proof of vaccination status.”
What is ETS?
ETS requires private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate employee proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week and observe masking requirements.
The ETS has been bouncing between federal district courts since it was first released in early November 2021. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals imposed a stay on enforcement of ETS on Nov. 6, 2021. Subsequent lawsuits were consolidated and sent to the Sixth District, which reversed the stay on Dec. 17, 2021.
Following the Sixth Circuit’s decision, OSHA announced that it would begin enforcement of ETS on Jan. 10, but wouldn’t penalize employers for failure to comply before Feb. 9, as long as they were making a good faith effort to achieve compliance.
On Jan. 7, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments challenging the Sixth Circuit’s ruling. It is not known when that ruling will be made.
Notice to arrive soon
District employees will receive an email this week from Vault Health, a firm contracted to handle the process. They were given instructions on how to proceed, depending on their decision whether or not to provide proof of vaccination.
If employees do not complete the Vault Health survey, the district will assume that they are not willing to provide documentation and will need to take weekly COVID-19 tests, the notice said.
Employees can also indicate that they are deciding not to provide vaccination documentation on the survey.
The notice said that employees who do not respond or indicate that they will not be sharing vaccination information will be sent via email details on testing procedures and reporting requirements.
Employees choosing to disclose vaccinations are given several options to provide that proof.
- A record from a health care provider or pharmacy.
- A copy of the COVID-19 vaccination record card.
- A copy of medical records documenting vaccinations.
- A copy of immunization records from a public health, state or tribal immunization information system.
- Or a copy of other official documentation containing the type of vaccine administered, date of administration, and the name of the clinic or provider administering the vaccine.
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