Update 12/20/2021 On Friday evening, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reinstated OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). This move reverses the Fifth Circuit decision in November which put a stay on OSHA’s rule. Appeals were immediately filed to the Supreme Court, which is likely to have the final say over the OSHA mandate.
The Department of Labor and OSHA issued a statement that the agency was moving forward with implementation and enforcement of the ETS, but also provided some enforcement relief for companies able to demonstrate good faith efforts to comply.
The new compliance dates are January 10 for various provisions under the rule and February 9 for the standard’s testing requirements.
The OSHA website includes the following update: OSHA is gratified the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard. OSHA can now once again implement this vital workplace health standard, which will protect the health of workers by mitigating the spread of the unprecedented virus in the workplace. 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 noncompliance 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. OSHA will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance.
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