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    OSHA Withdraws COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard

    • Published
    • 25 January 2022
    • Category
    • News

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has withdrawn its vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS). It would have required employees in companies with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested once a week and wear a mask. The ETS was issued on Nov. 5, 2021. The withdrawal will go into effect on Jan. 26, 2022.

    OSHA’s action follows a Jan. 13, 2022, a 6-3 Supreme Court decision to place a stay on the ETS. Given the ruling, it is presumed that the U.S. Department of Labor would not prevail when the case was returned to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for final disposition.

    Although OSHA is withdrawing the ETS as an enforceable standard, it is not withdrawing the ETS to the extent that it serves as a proposed rule under section 6(c)(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. According to an OSHA docket scheduled for publication in the Federal Register, “this action does not affect the ETS’s status as a proposal under section 6(b) of the act or otherwise affect the status of the notice-and-comment rulemaking commenced by the Vaccination and Testing ETS.” (Refer to 29 U.S.C. 655(c)(3).)

    Meanwhile, OSHA said it will focus on adoption of a permanent COVID-19 health care standard. The agency adopted a health care ETS on June 1, 2021, that is slated to remain in effect until it is superseded by a permanent standard.

    The agency continues to strongly encourage employees in all types of industries to get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

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