Universal Orlando No Longer Requiring COVID-19 Testing for Non-Vaccinated Team Members After Supreme Court Strikes Down Requirement

The Orlando Sentinel reports, ​​Universal Orlando employees will not be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing if they are not vaccinated, a decision made in response to a change in federal regulations.

What’s Happening:

  • On January 10th, Universal sent workers a message that they would either be required to be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing starting February 9th and wear masks in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard.
  • The Supreme Court struck down the requirement on January 13th, saying the agency overstepped its authority in issuing the mandate. Universal spokesman Tom Schroder previously said the company would adapt its vaccination and testing policy as legal challenges to COVID-19 regulations moved through the courts.
  • Workers are still required to share their vaccination status with the company, but Universal has made it optional for employees to upload copies of their vaccine cards to prove vaccination. The company began requiring workers to disclose their vaccination status in August.
  • The update sent to Universal employees Thursday also said employees would be paid if they had to miss a shift due to experiencing side effects from the vaccine or booster shot. That policy runs through April 9th, according to the company. In the message, Universal told employees it would continue to encourage them to be vaccinated but would not require vaccination or regular employee testing.

What They’re Saying:

  • Marty Walsh, U.S. Secretary of Labor:
    • “We urge all employers to require workers to get vaccinated or tested weekly to most effectively fight this deadly virus in the workplace,”
    • “Employers are responsible for the safety of their workers on the job, and OSHA has comprehensive COVID-19 guidance to help them uphold their obligation.”
    • After the Supreme Court’s ruling last week, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh defended the OSHA standard and said the agency’s policy was the “best way to protect the nation’s workforce from a deadly virus.”
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