OSHA Withdraws Workplace Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard
On November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard, or ETS, to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers from workplace exposure to the coronavirus. As of January 26, 2022, this emergency temporary standard is withdrawn.
The Supreme Court’s decision, which was 6 to 3, said the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more commonly known as OSHA, did not have the authority to require workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or tested weekly.
The mandate would have applied to approximately 80 million people working for employers with 100 or more employees.
The decision to withdraw the rule means that the outstanding legal proceedings will be dropped as well.
Without the Labor Department’s standard in effect, employers are subject to a patchwork of state and local laws on Covid-19 workplace safety. In the Cape Girardeau area, there are no governmental requirements for businesses as it relates to Covid-19 vaccination and testing.
Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule. The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.
Employers looking for further guidance on navigating the Covid-19 pandemic can visit OSHA.gov/coronavirus.