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Speaker Hortman To Ask Committee For Approval Of OSHA's Vaccination, Testing Compliance For House Employees

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman is calling for compliance with OSHA's COVID-19 vaccination and testing rules among House employees and interns.

In a letter to House members and staff Monday, Democratic Rep. Hortman cited OSHA's standards, specifically the Nov. 4 Emergency Temporary Standard requiring all private employers with 100+ employees to institute a vaccine or weekly testing mandate.

Minnesota adopted that ETS Jan. 3, and its requirements went into effect Monday.

"The House has an obligation to comply with OSHA standards or face stiff penalties for noncompliance," Hortman said.

While OSHA's standard applies to public employees in Minnesota, Hortman said, it does not apply to elected officials. Hortman will ask the Minnesota House of Representatives Rules and Legislative Administration Committee to approve a vaccination policy that requires "all employees and interns become fully vaccinated and provide documentation of vaccination status by February 9, 2022." Alternatively, unvaccinated employees and interns can agree to weekly testing.

Hortman said the testing requirement would not apply to remote employees. The vaccination requirement would not include a booster shot.

The letter said "employees who fail to comply with the policy may be subject to discipline."

Read Hortman's full letter by clicking here.

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported the state's average positivity rate is higher than it's ever been, at 16.6%.

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