OSHA Suspends Vaccine Mandate Implementation

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November 18, 2021

OSHA has suspended its efforts to implement and enforce its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing in the workplace. This newly stated position immediately impacts employers with 100 or more employees who are not federal contractors or otherwise subject to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ guidance. Large employers are no longer faced with Dec. 5, 2021, and Jan. 4, 2022, compliance deadlines associated with implementing a vaccine mandate or weekly testing program.

The following statement is on the OSHA ETS webpage:

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, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) (“ETS”). 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.

Once the court issues a final ruling on the case, OSHA will, if allowed, resume enforcement of the ETS.