The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dissolved an order staying enforcement of the emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  The ETS requires all employers with 100 or more employees to implement policies mandating that employees either receive a COVID-19 vaccination or undergo regular testing. 

The “vaccinate or test” requirement in the ETS was originally set to take effect on January 4, 2022, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a preliminary injunction staying enforcement of the ETS.  Last week, the Sixth Circuit granted the Biden Administration’s request to dissolve the Fifth Circuit’s stay.

OSHA announced that it will not begin enforcing the ETS until January 10, 2022.  In addition, OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with the testing requirement prior to February 9, “so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.”

The Sixth Circuit’s ruling is being appealed to the Supreme Court, and the high court could ultimately decide the fate of the ETS.  For now, however, covered employers should take necessary steps to comply with the ETS. 

For more information about OSHA’s ETS, read our previous legal alert.

This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York State, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.