The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published on their website on Nov. 16, 2021, that the COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) is being put on hold due to pending litigation.
In response to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to extend the ETS stay, OSHA released a statement on its website. The statement reads:
“On Nov. 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA’s ETS, published on Nov. 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402). 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.”
Employers should continue to monitor OSHA ETS updates to determine if there are any changes in its status. At this point, employers should understand the requirements of the ETS in case it survives the upcoming litigation.
Employers should also remember that regardless of the ETS being on hold, OSHA still can cite employers under the General Duty Clause. In other words, employers still have a continued duty to make their workplaces safe for their employees.
Our team is committed to keeping you informed and being a resource for you. If you have any questions regarding this email or any other compliance matter, please feel free to reach out to us.