By Terri Jo Neff
In a surprise reversal, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is suspending its recently announced requirement that employers make a record of an employee’s adverse reaction to an employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccination.
In May, the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA advised employers it would consider an employee’s adverse reaction as a “reportable incident” if the vaccination was required to obtain or keep employment, or to avoid repercussions such as a negative performance rating.
An adverse reaction would have to involve time away from work, medical treatment beyond basic first aid, restricted work duties, or even a job transfer in order to be recorded by the employer.
But OSHA has already changed its policy, according to new information on its website. The priority now is for federal agencies to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.
“OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts,” the website states. “As a result, OSHA will not enforce its recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination through May 2022.”
The backtracking by OSHA officials is seen as a response to “unprecedented” political pressure from the White House, according to Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver.
“OSHA’s suspension of the recording requirement so as not to discourage experimental COVID shots reveals that the Biden administration could care less about the collateral damage being caused by the COVID shots,” Staver commented last week. “The people can see this biased agenda. They are not stupid.”
Many civil liberties groups point to the fact the current experimental COVID-19 vaccines are only approved under an Emergency Use Authorization and therefore its use is not to be mandated.
Whether an employee in Arizona can seek recourse through the courts or a workers’ compensation claim after falling ill from an employer-required vaccination remains unclear.