OSHA Suspends Enforcement of its Vaccine Mandate

OSHA has suspended enforcement of its COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) while the requirement is challenged in court, according to a statement on the agency’s ETS information website.

CMS’ requirement that healthcare workers at facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds must be vaccinated is also facing a court challenge after several states sued to stop it.

In general, OSHA’s ETS issued on November 5 called for larger employers with a workforce of 100 or more to require COVID-19 vaccinations of its employees or to regularly test those who could not or would not get the vaccination and require them to wear masks.

On November 17, OSHA published this statement: “On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) (‘ETS’). The court ordered that OSHA ‘take no steps to implement or enforce’ the ETS ‘until further court order.’ 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.”