Current Status of OSHA’s ETS COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
UPDATE AS OF DECEMBER 20, 2021:
To account for any uncertainty created by the stay, OSHA is exercising enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance dates of the ETS. To provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance, OSHA will not issue citations for non-compliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10, 2022, 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.
UPDATE AS OF DECEMBER 10, 2021:
As we near the end of 2021, we are continuing to see a flurry of vaccine mandates, and it seems just as many litigation challenges to them. Here is a quick reminder of the current status of the recent legislations related to vaccines as we head into the new year.
The OSHA ETS was quickly challenged in multiple states and put on temporary hold. That temporary emergency hold was extended through the legal challenge process and is now on hold until the courts decide. The senate is expected to nullify the mandate in a coming vote. Because the ETS mandate is already blocked nation wide this will not change that the regulation is on hold.
The CMS published a memorandum on December 2, 2021, stating they would not enforce the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers due to multiple preliminary court injunctions. The healthcare mandate is on hold while it works its way through the system.
So where does that leave the Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate? As of December 8, 2021, that mandate is now blocked as well.
Across the board, the three mandates implemented by the Biden administration while litigation continues. The Biden administration has vowed to defend the mandates vigorously.
Employers need to be aware that the situation regarding vaccine mandates changes on an almost weekly basis. Staying informed and understanding the potential impact of these mandates is crucial. We encourage business and organization leaders to have a plan around what you will do in the event that the mandates are upheld.
Abdo’s professionals will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with insights to help you navigate the path ahead. Reach out to our team with questions regarding this mandate and how it may impact your organization.
For many employers and employees, there are very strong feelings, both positive and negative, about what the ETS means for themselves personally, their communities and nation. Despite all of this, covered employers should inform themselves of the details of the Emergency Temporary Standards, start planning and take action now to be ready for the upcoming implementation deadlines.