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November 4, 2021

Contact: Ryan Rudominer,


(Washington, DC) On Thursday, Always Essential issued the following in response to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releasing its Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID Vaccination for large private employers.

“We certainly welcome parts of this mandate and agree that vaccinations are critical to protecting essential workers from COVID-19. Of critical importance are its provisions for paid time off to receive the vaccine and recover from side effects and requiring employers to provide accessible information to employees about the vaccines.

“However, we are concerned the rule as written does not mandate that companies pay for testing or PPE, such as masks. Furthermore, it does not require employers to provide paid sick leave if a worker tests positive for COVID.”

“Throughout the pandemic, essential workers put their health and safety on the line to fuel our economy and keep our communities safe and fed. Many of their employers were making record profits while essential workers got sick and died.

“We demand employers be required to cover the costs of masks, testing, and (paid) time-off for any essential workers testing positive for COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has repeatedly laid bare the breadth of protections that the most vulnerable essential workers lack. It’s long past time for employers and the government to use every tool available to prioritize the mental and physical health of essential workers.”