NEW OSHA VACCINE MANDATES ON HOLD!
And just like that, the new COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) which was just released by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on November 5, 2021, has been paused merely a day later courtesy of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. As we recently reported, the new rule was to require that employers with 100 or more employees either mandate the COVID-19 vaccine to its employees or offer regular testing.
Not surprisingly, various parties filed immediate lawsuits to challenge the mandates and one of those challenges resulted in a stay of the rule by the 5th Circuit. The court noted that there were “grave statutory and constitutional issues” with the new ETS. The Government was given a deadline of November 8 to respond to the petitioners’ motion for a permanent injunction and the petitioners’ reply deadline is November 9.
Employers around California have been anxious to know what the corresponding Cal/OSHA deadline for vaccine compliance will be given that the federal OSHA date was set for January 4. It appeared a possibility that the 30-day compliance requirement for California to set an equivalent or even more stringent mandate to its 100+ employers would occur on November 18, 2021, the day that California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB), the standards-setting agency within Cal/OSHA, is scheduled to meet. However, this has now been brought into question since the legal issues circulating in the 5th Circuit and other venues may not be sorted out by then.
McKague Rosasco LLP is closely monitoring the events surrounding the implementation of the new ETS. For now, stay tuned and we will keep you apprised of the latest news and what all of this means for your company for purposes of vaccine compliance. If you have any questions about compliance given that the pandemic rules are developing and changing at such a dizzying speed, give our office a call.