The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released exemptions to the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large, private employers. The Hagstrom Report says the mandate won’t take effect until January 4 and goes into effect after harvest season. Chuck Conner, president of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, says he’s still disappointed that the exemptions didn’t include other accommodations. “I’m disappointed that OSHA’s exemptions don’t adopt several commonsense accommodations to recognize the unique nature of agriculture,” Conner says. “The deadline does take farmers past harvest and does exempt employees working exclusively outdoors. However, implementing this standard will be disruptive and it contains no provisions included to help ensure the integrity of the food and agriculture supply chain.” He also points out that NCFC will provide formal comments to OSHA outlining their concerns further and will work with members to look for ways to minimize the disruptions the requirements will cause to a critical sector of the U.S. economy.
Conner Disappointed with OSHA Vaccine Mandate Exemptions