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    Appellate Court Lifts Stay on OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

    • Published
    • 20 December 2021
    • Category
    • News

    The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to implement its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) following a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio, that overturns a stay placed on the standard by the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Nov. 12.

    OSHA has the authority to pass an emergency temporary standard provided it can show that employees are exposed to a “grave danger” and that the rule is necessary. The Sixth Circuit panel said on Friday that the agency sufficiently demonstrated the coronavirus pandemic meets that standard.

    The standard requires workers in private companies with at least 100 employees to either be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing in lieu of vaccination. While the appellate court decision allows OSHA to move forward with enforcement, a final ruling on the standard is expected to be made by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    OSHA will not issue citations for non-compliance with any ETS provisions before Jan. 10, and specifically for testing requirements before Feb. 9, as long as an employer is “exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.” The agency said it will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance.

    Meanwhile, the written public comment period for a proposal to make the temporary standard permanent ends Jan. 19, 2022. Comments may be submitted via www.regulations.gov in the docket OSHA-2021-0007. Refer to OSHA’s coronavirus ETS webpage for details.

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