Monday, November 15, 2021

Coronavirus Update 11-15-2021: Employers, DO NOT allow a law firm to charge you for their OSHA ETS compliant vaccine policy

The following headline in my feed reader recently caught my attention: NOW AVAILABLE: Model Employment Policy for Compliance with OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard. Always curious about the competition, I clicked, thinking I'd find a breakdown and analysis of the free-to-download policies OSHA has made available on its website (one sample for Vaccination or Testing and Face Covering and one for Mandatory Vaccination only).

Instead, this is what I discovered:
Our US Labor and Employment team has developed a model policy that complies with OSHA's recently announced Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) requirements regarding vaccination and employee testing, which also includes sample forms for employees to request reasonable accommodations. This policy can be very helpful to employers as they navigate these challenges. 

Hmmm, I thought. Is a law firm selling a product that OSHA is already giving away for free? Clicking through, I read more.

The key phrase — "Starting at a flat rate…" 

Look, I'm all for lawyers making money. Heck, I am a lawyer who likes making money. For law firms to make money, we need to bill clients. We're a business. That's how it works. Believe me, I understand.

But, does a law firm need to make money off its clients by charging a fee for a service that the government is already giving away for free? 

When businesses have asked me for one of these policies over the past week or so, I've directed them to OSHA's website to download one for free, with the caveat that I'd like to put eyes on it before they roll it out to employees just to make sure everything looks okay. To me, that's infinitely better than reinventing the wheel and then charging businesses for the unnecessary labor.