OSHA Slows its Roll on the Vaccine Mandate: For Now

November 18, 2021 |

Big news on the vaccine mandate, which OSHA announced on its website this week:

While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.

WHAT NOW? If you are a Federal Contractor or your workplace falls under the CMS rules–keep going. The suspension applies only to the OSHA ETS for employers with 100 or more employees.  OSHA is not abandoning its rules, just letting the litigation play out.

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE LAWSUITS: Thank you for asking! The Fifth Circuit struck down OHSA’s ETS but then there was that esoteric provision where one circuit court is chosen by a ping pong lottery (really) to resolve ALL the lawsuits against OSHA–there are 20 or more. The Sixth Circuit was selected this week and that is not a great selection for OSHA. The Ohio-based Sixth Circuit leans conservative but defeat of the vaccine mandate is not a sure thing.

WILL YOU LET US KNOW WHAT HAPPENS? We can do that! The timing of the Sixth Circuit decision is not known yet and there is no briefing schedule. It is very likely that whichever way the Sixth Circuit rules, it will go to the US Supreme Court.

IN THE MEANTIME: There is no federal legal obligation to mandate COVID-19 vaccines under OSHA. Employers can continue to mandate vaccines or watch and wait, depending on your workplace. We have fixed fee solutions for mandatory vaccines, vaccines encouraged, vaccine tracking–you name it.

WE CAN HELP! With all things workplace law. Contact us with any questions.


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