Announcement by the RISQ Consulting Team
On November 16, 2021, OSHA published an announcement stating that they are unable to implement or enforce the vaccine and testing mandates for private employers that were set to begin in early December and early January.
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ordered that OSHA pause the implementation and enforcement of the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) until future court order, due to pending litigation. Several legal issues have been raised in response to OSHA’s ETS that required private employers with more than 100 employees to require employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines or be tested weekly for COVID-19.
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was selected through a lottery process to review the ETS arguments, which is the next step.
At this point, employers should continue to monitor the OSHA ETS updates for any status changes. Employers are encouraged to understand the requirements of the ETS, should the case last through the legal challenges and quick implementation be required.
Special Note for Federal Contractors and Healthcare Entities: The suspension of the implementation and enforcement of the vaccine mandate is specific to OSHA’s mandate for private employers with more than 100 employees. The vaccine requirement for Federal Contractors is not affected by the block of the ETS. The vaccine requirement from CMS for staff at health care facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs is not affected by the block of the ETS.
Links to Additional Reading:
SHRM: 6th Circuit to Review OSHA’s Workplace Vaccine-or-Testing Rule
SHRM: Federal Contractor Employees Must Be ‘Fully Vaccinated’ by Jan. 18, 2022
National Law Review: What Healthcare Employers Need to Know About the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Vaccine Mandate
National Law Review: Fate of OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccine ETS in the Hands of Sixth Circuit Court
RISQ Consulting will continue to monitor the situation and legal challenges, sending updates as new relevant information becomes available.
Click HERE to view the News Brief.
If you have any questions about how the OSHA ETS may apply to your company, or any other questions about COVID-19, please contact your RISQ Consulting Account Executive or Account Manager.