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As federal vaccine rules approach, one Triad school district prepares staff

Workplaces with 100+ workers will soon need to follow federal vaccine-or-testing rules. One Triad school district has begun preparing staff for what's to come.

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — New federal rules are coming down the pike for businesses with more than 100 workers. School districts with 100+ employees would also be impacted by the new rules, and one Triad school district is starting the process of preparing employees.

Davidson County Schools sent a memo to staff detailing how the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard will impact employees within the district.

The district said it sent the memo to employees after the Biden Administration released new rules on the vaccine-or-test mandate.

Under the new rules, if staffers aren't vaccinated by Jan. 4, employees will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test every week, plus wear a mask. 

Federal rules require vaccine status documentation by Dec. 5. District principals or supervisors will request documentation from employees.

In the memo, employees would also be responsible to cover any potential cost for testing and would need to schedule testing outside of work hours.

RELATED: Yes, businesses can be fined for not complying with the Biden administration’s vaccinate-or-test mandate

Davidson County Schools is working to figure out how many employees are vaccinated. 

RELATED: 'Our goal is to keep students in school' | Davidson County Schools holds board meeting to discuss COVID-19

The memo to district employees also said the mandate is in court, so delays could happen.

North Carolina Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said the NC Department of Labor won't take action in regard to vaccine mandates while it's in court.

"I think it’s fundamentally unfair. We’ve asked so much of our nurses, firefighters, so many front-line workers to work through this pandemic and now we’re telling them if you don’t take this vaccine you could lose your job. That’s fundamentally unfair," Dobson said. "While this is in litigation, the North Carolina Department of Labor will take no action against an employer in this state. If it is ruled constitutional, I will then make a decision on how we go forward in North Carolina, but as of now, while it’s in litigation, the North Carolina Department of Labor will take no action in regard to vaccine mandates.”

RELATED: Federal vaccine mandate could impact NC teachers and government employees

Until a decision is made, businesses can still put the mandate in place if they so choose. 

"There is nothing preventing an employer to put this policy in place if they so choose," Dobson said. "In fact, some in North Carolina businesses have already done that, but that's outside any government mandate. That's just a choice by the particular employer."