HR Bulletin: Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Vaccination Emergency Temporary Standard
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released the long-awaited emergency temporary standard (ETS) addressing mandatory vaccinations in the workplace.
UPDATE: On December 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on OSHA’s 100+ Employee Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The court determined that the injuries claimed by the parties in opposition to the ETS were too speculative and the costs associated with delaying implementation of the ETS were too significant to uphold the stay.
As a result of the stay being lifted, OSHA made changes to the compliance deadlines previously in force. Specifically, as long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the ETS, OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements before January 10, 2022. Further, they will not issue citations for noncompliance with the testing requirements before February 9, 2022.
The January 10, 2022 date is significant because the United States Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments for Friday, January 7, 2022 to determine if the ETS as well as the CMS Vaccine mandate should again be stayed pending full review of the merits of the litigation. It is expected that due to the pressing nature of the issues, a decision by the Supreme Court will be issued shortly after oral arguments are complete, hopefully prior to the January 10, 2022 date set by OSHA for partial compliance with the ETS.
Employers that are covered by the ETS or the CMS Vaccine mandate should begin good faith compliance efforts in preparation for the upcoming decision by the Supreme Court. A review of the key components of the ETS standards are contained in this publication and should be reviewed as a refresher for employers
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