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OSHA Suspends Implementation, Enforcement of Vaccine Mandate

On Nov. 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on Nov. 5, 2021 in the Federal Register. The court ordered that OSHA "take no steps to implement or enforce" the ETS "until further court order."

The new ETS would apply to employers with 100 or more employees and sets forth a number of new policies related to vaccination, testing and handling of employees who test positive for COVID-19.

OSHA says it “remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies,” but the agency has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.

This means employers with 100 or more employees no longer face the Dec. 5, 2021, and Jan. 4, 2022, compliance deadlines associated with implementing a vaccine mandate or weekly testing program.