On November 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 (ETS), published on November 5, 2021. The court ordered that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the ETS “until further court order.” While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.
This suspension is only for this particular ETS and does not affect other vaccine mandates related to federal contractors or health care workers.
Employer Action – This provides a reprieve for now regarding this temporary standard and we will stay tuned for further developments in this litigation and OSHA’s enforcement activities. While some employers may want to adopt a wait and see approach, due to the uncertainty regarding the future of this ETS, employers are advised to have a plan in place to comply.
For more information on the ETS and action steps to be prepared, see our blog on https://kmahr.com/2021/11/08/us-department-of-labor-announces-emergency-temporary-standard-ets-on-vaccination-and-court-order-issued-temporarily-staying-enforcement/