US Vax Rule Unclear for Truck Drivers: Law Experts

According to a legal firm that specializes in workplace safety – truck drivers that are out on the road driving are subject to Department of Transportation regulations, not OSHA standards, therefore the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate should not apply while they’re out on the road.

Companies with 100 or more employees will be required to comply with President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate by no later than Jan. 4, 2022, according to the Emergency Temporary Standard that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to publish in the Federal Register Friday, Nov. 5.

Multiple trucking industry agencies had sought an exemption, claiming mandatory vaccine enforcement would place additional pressure on a supply chain that is already under duress, but those calls and warnings went unheeded.

However, CCJ magazine reports that attorneys at Fisher Phillips have echoed the American Trucking Association’s stance that drivers would not be covered by the federal rule.

“If you’re not in the office very often, you’d only have to have a negative [COVID] test within the seven days before you come into the workplace. They’ve carved out those employees that are not there very much,” said Travis Vance, a Fisher Phillips partner and co-host of his law firm’s media webinar that explored the vaccine mandate.

American Trucking Associations (ATA) agreed. “The rule published today should not impact employees who work alone and have minimal contact with others indoors. In our view, that exemption should cover the commercial truck driver population, and we are seeking further guidance from OSHA to clarify and confirm that,” the group said in a statement Thursday night.

However, drivers that report back to a company where 100 or more employees work must either show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the past seven days.

It gets a little trickier for truckers when they make deliveries, stated CCJ.

“When a driver delivers to the warehouse, they are still under DOT and not OSHA at that point,” Vance said. Fisher Phillips partner Todd Logsdon agreed, so long as the driver remains inside the truck.

“If he [the driver] gets out of the truck and goes to the loading dock, then I think he could be covered by OSHA,” Logsdon said.

Vance added, “It just depends if it’s his own workplace or somebody else’s. There’s a lot of different variables there.”

Read the full article here.

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