The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put employers on notice that should they attempt to require employees to receive injections of experimental COVID-19 gene-therapy vaccines a resulting adverse reaction will be considered “work-related” for which the employer may be held liable.
OSHA released its new guidance on April 20 under a “Frequently Asked Questions” section of its website having to do with COVID-19 safety compliance.
The question asks whether an employer who mandates employees receive these experimental COVID-19 shots is required to record any adverse events as a result of these injections. Such recording requirements of serious work-related injuries and illness may not only leave an employer vulnerable to worker’s compensation claims, but such incidents could also impact the employer’s safety record.
The question and answer in full:
If I require my employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of their employment, are adverse reactions to the vaccine recordable?
If you require your employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment (i.e., for work-related reasons), then any adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is work-related. The adverse reaction is recordable if it is a new case under 29 CFR 1904.6 and meets one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7.
This clarification comes as an increasing number of employers seek to mandate the experimental injections despite possible illegality. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported this beginning trend in varieties of fields, including machine operators, office workers, restaurant waiters, and medical staff.
“The Houston Methodist Hospital network is mandating vaccines for both existing employees and new hires, barring an exemption,” Chip Cutter of the WSJ wrote. “Those who fail to comply will at first be suspended without pay, and later terminated.”