Expiration of Mandatory Covid-19 Paid Leave for Healthcare Employees

Poyner Spruill LLP

Poyner Spruill LLP

As summarized in our updated article on the status of vaccine mandates available here, on December 27, OSHA announced that it is withdrawing the non-recordkeeping portions of the Healthcare ETS.

The Healthcare ETS was adopted on June 21, 2021 and required healthcare employers to implement an extensive Covid-19 plan and provide paid leave to healthcare employees for certain Covid-19 related absences.  When the Healthcare ETS was first implemented, employers’ costs associated with the mandatory Covid-19 related paid leave were somewhat offset by a tax credit available to all employers for paid leave provided to employees for Covid-19 related absences through the American Rescue Plan (ARPA).  Those tax credits expired on September 30, 2021, but healthcare employers continued to be required to provide mandatory paid leave for Covid-19 related absences under the Healthcare ETS.

The withdrawal of these Healthcare ETS obligations means that healthcare employers subject to it are no longer under a legal obligation to provide their employees with paid leave for Covid-19 related absences, although they can choose to continue to do so.

If you are affected by this change, the attorneys at Poyner Spruill are available to review your workplace policies and assist with updating paid sick leave policies and hazard plans to be more tailored to your workplace.  We will continue to keep employers apprised of the status of vaccines and masking mandates.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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