The Kohler Villager News

Protest against Kohler Co. vaccine mandate planned for Friday in the Village

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Late last month, Kohler Co. sent a communication to all employees that Covid-19 vaccinations will be required of all U.S. associates by January 1, 2022. All contractors and visitors to Kohler Co. will also need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result beginning January 1, 2022.

The company made the decision in anticipation of a new emergency temporary standard (ETS) rule that is expected to be issued soon by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

A group calling itself “The Bold Look Of Freedom” plans to protest the policy on Friday from noon until 6:00 p.m. when Kohler Food & Wine will be in full swing. Protest locations include Highland Drive in front of The American Club and Kohler Design Center, and in the area of Church Street and Woodlake Road.

The protest is unlikely to change Kohler’s policy, however. Companies that don’t comply with the OSHA rule could face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.

The rule will require businesses with at least 100 employees to mandate that employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus, or submit to weekly testing as an alternative to the vaccine. For larger companies, collecting and tracking weekly test results may be too burdensome, so they may choose to opt for vaccine mandates only.

The ETS rule is currently under White House review, and will take effect immediately once the White House office concludes its review. OSHA may provide some limited time to comply with the ETS, but employers are being urged to set their own policies so they are prepared for when the ETS rule does take effect.

Kohler associates with a medical condition that prevents them from being vaccinated, or those who hold sincerely-held religious beliefs, may complete a form provided by Kohler Co. for an exemption from the vaccination mandate.

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