FRANKFORT, Ind. – The City of Frankfort Board of Public Works and Safety put in place a mandatory mask policy for all city employees that are unvaccinated during its Monday, January 10th meeting in Old Stoney.

The adoption of this policy was in reply to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard. The ETS calls for all employers with at least 100 employees to adopt a policy that either requires 1) mandatory vaccinations or 2) mandatory mask wearing and weekly COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated employees. The mandatory mask policy only applies when the city employee is at work.

“As we have looked at this, we have held off as long as we could with this, but given today – we had to do something as there are some hefty fines,” said Frankfort Mayor Judy Sheets.

The waiting to implement a policy addressed by Mayor Sheets was to wait-and-see whether the United States Supreme Court would issue a stay in the implementation of the ETS based on oral arguments heard Friday, January 7. At this time, a stay has not been issued.

Mayor Sheets continued with what the city would do if the stay was issued now.

“If the stay is put in place we will be going back and making some changes and amend this policy we adopted tonight. I know a lot of the employees are not going to be happy with this, it is not something that we necessarily wanted to do, but it is something that is pretty much being pressured on us right now.”

“Right now it is the mask mandate – we have until February 9th for the testing to start.”

According to the OSHA website, “OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.”