ATA calls vaccine exemption vitally important

Dec 27 | 2021

The American Trucking Association’s President and CEO Chris Spear recently commented on the application of the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard on the vaccine mandate.

ATA calls vaccine exemption vitally importantThe mandate strongly encouraged vaccination against COVID-19 in companies with over 100 staff. It required employers to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to either get vaccinated or elect to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work in lieu of vaccination.

“As we made clear in our comments to the Administration prior to the rule’s publication, drivers spend the vast majority of their workday alone in the cab and outside,” said Chris Spear. “The rule exempts employees who exclusively work outdoors or remotely and have minimal contact with others indoors, and all indications thus far from the Department of Labor suggest this exemption does apply to the commercial truck driver population.”

“Given the nationwide shortage of truck drivers, it is vital that our industry has the relief it needs to keep critical goods moving, including food, fuel, medicine and the vaccine itself.”

“We continue to believe OSHA is using extraordinary authority unwisely, applying it across all industries at an arbitrary threshold of 100 employees that fails to factor in actual risks. We are weighing all options of recourse to ensure every segment of our industry’s workforce is shielded from the unintended consequences of this misguided mandate.”