On December 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion, dissolving the stay on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) for large employers.
What does this mean? This means OSHA’s ETS rule, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing, is back on and in effect for employers with 100+ employees. OSHA, however, did issue a statement shortly after the opinion was released, stating:
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 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.
The petitioners in the case likely will request additional review of this decision by either the full Sixth Circuit (otherwise known as en banc review) or the U.S. Supreme Court. Nonetheless, employers should continue to take steps to ensure compliance with the ETS. For a quick summary of the ETS requirements, read over our previous blog.
Contact your Vogel Law Firm employment law team for more information.