Dear Family Resource Home Care Employees,

Last Friday, we sent an email and a video about the recently announced national COVID-19 vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees – which includes Family Resource. If you have not yet read that email or watched the video and wish to do, click here. Our intent is that no one loses their job over this mandate. Today, we wish to provide some additional updates and information:

  • $250 Bonus: Available to any employee who has already submitted proof of their vaccination; or who submits proof of full vaccination or submits an approved accommodation to Human Resources via email at HR@familyrhc.com by January 4th, 2022. See below for more info.
  • Federal Lawsuits: Multiple lawsuits filed in various Federal Judicial Appeals Courts have resulted in a temporary halt to the new OSHA vaccine mandate. Given our plan is to provide ways for all employees to remain employed with us regardless of vaccination status, we are still moving ahead to be ready for the mandate should it be implemented. See below for more info.
  • State Mandates: Certain states have 15 days to decide if they will follow OSHA’s guidelines or implement stricter mandates. States cannot issue mandates that are less protective than the federal standard. Oregon and Washington are such states and we will provide an update to you after we know their plans. Idaho is under federal OSHA guidelines, so no changes would be made. See below for more info.
  • Testing Option: Each employee must determine what is right for them based on their health, personal or religious reasons. For employees who are unvaccinated, we will offer the option for weekly COVID testing. See below for more info.

As a reminder, all employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, should continue our existing COVID-19 practices, including wearing a mask with your clients. We will use PPE for as long as the states require it or until we feel it is safe to stop, whichever is later. We also wish to emphasize that we highly encourage all employees to become vaccinated, but we respect each employee’s choice based upon their health, personal or religious reasons. We intend to provide employees with options within the guidelines of the mandate to ensure you can continue to work at Family Resource. We don’t want anyone to lose their job over this mandate.

Again, to receive your $250 bonus, please be sure to email HR@familyrhc.com with either proof of vaccination or to request an accommodation form. Please don’t send these to your office location. The first payout of bonuses for those who have submitted is expected to be the next paycheck cycle.

No matter what the final outcome of the vaccine mandate is, our plan is to support all employees who work at Family Resource by providing a variety of options

  • Accepting proof of vaccination
  • Accepting proof of an approved medical or religious accommodation, with the requirement to be tested weekly per OSHA
  • Providing a weekly testing option for unvaccinated employees, per OSHA

Thank you for all you do for our company and our clients!

Sincerely,

Jeff

CEO Jeff Wiberg Signature

Jeff Wiberg, Chief Executive Officer


$250 Bonus

  • Already submitted proof of vaccine or approved accommodation: We will process the $250 bonus in the next paycheck cycle on November 19.
  • Haven’t submitted proof of full vaccination: After sending proof of vaccination to HR, your $250 bonus will be included in your paycheck on the next pay cycle.
  • Medical or Religious Accommodations: Contact HR@familyrhc.com for an accommodation form. Once completed, send to HR@familyrhc.com. Once approved, your $250 bonus will be included in your paycheck on the next pay cycle. We honor your decision about becoming vaccinated based on your health, personal or religious reasons. Approved accommodations include religious or doctor-approved health reasons. For religious exemption, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) doesn’t allow employers to make the determination about your reason. For medical exemptions, we can request a valid doctor’s note.

Notes:

  • If you don’t have any worked hours in that pay cycle, you will not receive the bonus as a stand-alone paycheck. You will be eligible for the bonus once you have worked hours in a pay cycle and have a paycheck.
  • If you have submitted your resignation, you will not receive the bonus.

Federal Lawsuits

Dozens of challenges to the OSHA rule, including lawsuits by states and employers, have been filed in multiple states and multiple circuit courts. Until resolved, these lawsuits have halted the implementation of the vaccine mandate. As such the January 4, 2022 go-live date could move or the mandate could be overturned completely. The lawsuits argue that the enforcement of vaccine mandates is within the states’ authority not the federal government and that the emergency temporary standard exceeds the authority Congress gave to OSHA.

While we monitor the outcome of these court rulings, we continue to prepare as if the mandate will stay in place to ensure we are prepared, especially in the case that any of the states in which we do business release a similar standard.  More information about state specific mandates is below.

State Mandates

26 states have state plans, which are OSHA-approved workplace safety and health programs operated by individual states including Oregon and Washington. State Plans must be at least as effective as OSHA in protecting workers and in preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. These states can choose to adopt the new OSHA vaccine mandate as is; or change it to add additional safety measures such as making companies with 50 employees (instead of OSHA’s 100) follow the mandate, or eliminating weekly testing options. The remainder of the states simply follow OSHA federal guidelines. This is true of Idaho, so no further changes will occur for our Idaho employees beyond the existing OSHA rules.

We will provide updates to any Oregon and Washington specific mandates, if any, once the states announce their plans later this month. Washington State and Oregon already implemented health care facility mandates in October of 2021, related to vaccination of health care workers. Personal care in someone’s home, which is much of what we do at Family Resource, was exempted from the original vaccine mandate.

Testing Option

The OSHA mandate may go into effect on January 4, 2022 (depending on the outcomes of the federal courts). At that time, unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or employees with an approved accommodation will be required by OSHA to:

  • Take a COVID-19 at least weekly, if you work at least once per week;

Or,

  • Within 7 days before returning to work, if away from work a week or more;
  • If you get a COVID-19 positive test result, regardless of your vaccination status, you must be removed from work until you meet criteria to return
  • If you are unvaccinated and test positive for COVID-19, will not need to submit weekly testing for 90 days after your positive test result.

We are developing our exact policy and procedures to prepare us for this new OSHA standard. We will communicate with you soon information about the process for weekly testing, if that applies to you.


Family Resource Home Care

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

What is the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate?

On November 5, OSHA issued a vaccine mandate that applies to companies who have more than 100 employees. This is considered an Emergency Temporary Standard and is subject to change. Family Resource must follow this vaccine mandate, given that we have over 100 employees. This new rule will cover 84 million workers across the U.S., so we are not alone in adopting these new practices.  The OSHA mandate was planned to go into effect on January 4, 2022 but a federal court case has put a halt to the mandate. At this point, we are unsure of when it may go into effect or if it will at all.

Does this mean I have to get vaccinated?

No. For unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, and employees with an approved accommodation, the new OSHA Standard allows for a weekly testing option.

What if I’ve already had COVID-19?

The mandate doesn’t allow for anti-body test as an alternative to vaccination or weekly test. However, it does state that if you are unvaccinated and test positive for COVID-19 once the mandate is in place, you will not need to submit weekly testing for 90 days after your positive test result.

What if I already sent in my proof of vaccination?

If you already submitted proof of vaccine or accommodation, you qualify for a $250 bonus.  HR will process the $250 bonus and add it to an upcoming paycheck. The mandate will not impact you in any way.

Where do I send my proof of vaccination?

Simply email a photo or scan of your vaccine card to HR@familyrhc.com. Please don’t email these to your branches.

How do I get my $250 bonus from Family Resource?

There are a few ways:

  1. If you’ve already submitted proof of vaccine or have an approved accommodation, HR is in the process of adding the $250 bonus into the next paycheck cycle on November 19.
  2. If you are vaccinated, but haven’t submitted proof of full vaccination to HR, you simply need to email a photo or scan of your vaccine card to HR@familyrhc.com and your $250 bonus will be included in your paycheck on the next pay cycle.
  3. If you submit and get an approved Medical or Religious Accommodations from Human Resources, your $250 bonus will be included in your paycheck on the next pay cycle.

Notes:

  • If you don’t have any worked hours in that pay cycle, you will not receive the bonus. You will be eligible once you have worked hours in a pay cycle.
  • If you have submitted your resignation, you will not receive the bonus.

How do I request a religious or medical accommodation?

Contact Human Resources at HR@familyrhc.com for an accommodation form. Once completed, send to HR@familyrhc.com.

How will you decide if an accommodation is approved?

For religious exemption, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) doesn’t allow employers to make the determination about your faith, so Family Resource will likely not deny these accommodations. For medical exemptions, we can request a valid doctor’s note.

Do I have to get vaccinated to keep my job at Family Resource?

No. At this point, you still have the right to choose whether or not to become vaccinated. The OSHA mandate does require that unvaccinated employees take a COVID test each week they work. If the states that we operate in pass stricter rules, the testing option could be eliminated – but that has not been announced at this point.

What if I have a medical or religious reason to not get vaccinated?

Contact Human Resources at HR@familyrhc.com for an accommodation form. Once completed, send to HR@familyrhc.com. For religious exemption, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) doesn’t allow employers to make the determination about your faith, so Family Resource will not deny these accommodations. For medical exemptions, we can request a valid doctor’s note.

Is this the same as the Washington and Oregon state vaccine mandate?

Washington State and Oregon implemented health care facility mandates in October of 2021, related to vaccination of health care workers. Personal care in someone’s home, which is much of what we do at Family Resource, was exempted from this vaccine mandate.

In response to the new OSHA mandate, Oregon and Washington have the option to come up with a state-specific plan that adds additional safety measures such as making companies with 50 employees (instead of OSHA’s 100) follow the mandate or eliminating weekly testing options. We should know soon what the states decide. Idaho follows OSHA federal guidelines, so no further changes will occur for our Idaho employees beyond the existing OSHA rules.

When will the vaccine mandate go into effect?

The original date was January 4, 2022; however, as a result of lawsuits and court rulings, the mandate is on hold. We will not know if, or when, it will take effect until these lawsuits are resolved.

Didn’t a lawsuit put the vaccine mandate on hold?

Dozens of challenges to the OSHA rule, including lawsuits by states and employers, have been filed in multiple states and multiple circuit courts. Until resolved, these lawsuits have halted the implementation of the vaccine mandate. The go-live date could move, or the mandate could be overturned completely. It’s uncertain when these legal challenges will be resolved.

Will the vaccine mandate will happen at all?

As of now, we don’t know. Lawsuits and court rulings have halted the implementation of the mandate. We will not know if, or when, it will take effect until these lawsuits are resolved.

Will I be able to do weekly COVID testing instead of getting vaccinated if the mandate goes into effect?

Yes. The OSHA mandate permits unvaccinated employees to take a COVID test each week they work. If the states that we operate in pass stricter rules, the testing option could be eliminated – but that has not been announced at this point.

If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, do I have to get vaccinated?

No. You can submit a request for a temporary or medical accommodation if you wish. You will have to complete weekly testing.

When do I have to get vaccinated by?

The mandate, which is now on hold, originally stated employees must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022. The cutoff date for the $250 bonus from FRHC is January 4, 2022.

Who will pay for the weekly testing?

Currently, our plans is that Family Resource will pay for the weekly tests. Our hope is that we will be able to have these tests mailed to your home and that you can return them by mail. This plan will depend on various factors such as test availability.

Why is OSHA mandating this for companies?

OSHA states that many workers had COVID exposures at their jobs and died or got ill.  “OSHA estimates that this rule will save thousands of lives and prevent more than 250,000 hospitalizations due to workplace exposure to Covid-19 over the course of the [emergency temporary standard].” The justification is that vaccines are safe, free and the most effective way for workers to be protected from serious disease due to COVID-19 transmission at work.

Can I take time off to get vaccinated?

The mandate states that employers must provide paid time off for their employees to get vaccinated and time off to recover from any side effects of the vaccine. Given the mandate is on hold, this rule doesn’t apply. Talk to your supervisor about the time you might need to get a vaccine.

Do I have to pay for the vaccine?

No, free vaccines are available to the general public. Check your vaccine location for details.

Does the mandate require boosters?

No, you don’t have to get boosters to be considered vaccinated under the requirements.

What does “fully vaccinated” means?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of “fully vaccinated” is two full weeks following one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two shorts of Moderna’s or Pfizer’s.  FRHC will consider you vaccinated for purposes of the bonus after your last shot.

What happens if Family Resource doesn’t comply with the mandate?

OSHA’s has penalties up to $13,653 per violation and it can fine companies ten times that for willful or repeated violations.

How will the mandate be enforced?

As with other OSHA requirements, it will rely on spot checks for compliance or complaints.

Do part-time employees count and have to follow the mandate?

Yes, part-time employees are part of the 100-worker rule. Employees who work offsite, such as at a customer’s home, are counted. Those who work at home are counted but the vaccination requirements would apply only to the employees who work in the office at least part time.

Can employees be fired for not complying?

Legally, Family Resource will follow the OSHA rules, so unvaccinated employees will need to submit tests. If an employee refuses to comply with a policy, it is not protected under federal law and could result in termination.

How long will the rules be in effect?

OSHA used an emergency procedure, which could become permanent within six months. However, OSHA could decide to lift the requirements at any time.

What if I have another question that is not answered here?

You can reach out to HR by emailing HR@familyrhc.com at any time and we will work hard to get you correct information.