OSHA Withdraws Its Vaccine Mandate ETS
January 26, 2022
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has officially withdrawn the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) which would have required larger employers to adopt mandatory vaccination policies. The agency’s decision follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that OSHA does not have the authority to implement such a broad public health measure. OSHA has also asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the lawsuits filed against the ETS.
So what can employers expect now?
OSHA has stated that it is not withdrawing the vaccine mandate as a proposed rule, which could mean that at least a portion of the vaccination ETS could end up in a permanent OSHA standard. While this statement raises many questions, the good news is that OSHA’s rule making process usually takes at least six months. For now, we simply need to keep an eye on this.
Healthcare employers can definitely expect OSHA to adopt a new permanent COVID-19 standard within the next few months. In withdrawing its vaccine mandate ETS, OSHA has stated that it will now focus on finalizing “a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.” This is consistent with its promise upon the expiration of the original Healthcare ETS to “work expeditiously to issue a final standard that will protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 hazards.”
We will continue to keep you updated on these matters. KZA attorneys are available to answer your questions.
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