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OSHA releases update regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Information follows Friday court decision on OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an update on the “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing” Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) in the wake of Friday’s federal court ruling reinstating the Biden administration’s mandate for vaccination or testing.

The ETS applies to employers with 100 or more employees companywide. It states that “covered employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.”

OSHA issued the following statement after the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which dissolved a stay by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

“To provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance, 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. OSHA will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance.”

In a message distributed via email, OSHA Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs Doug Kalinowski said that “to account for any uncertainty created by the stay, OSHA is exercising enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance dates of the ETS.”

The issue may be decided at the Supreme Court.

ATSSA recently posted a blog with information and resources on vaccine mandates.

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