11.18.21 COVID-19 Bulletin: OSHA’s Vax/Test Mandate Paused Amid Legal Limbo
November 18, 2021
Citing ongoing litigation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it is pausing the implementation and enforcement of its COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard.
Per OSHA’s website: “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.”
However, this issue likely does not end here. This decision is expected to be appealed and may even make its way to the Supreme Court. Employers should remain prepared to implement the rule, because it may take effect again if a court overturns the Fifth Circuit’s decision.
If the courts could reaffirm this rule, OSHA could enforce it on its January 4th effective date. At this time, though, the federal government is not implementing nor enforcing the vaccine-or-test mandate.
The BNP will continue to keep you informed of judicial updates related to this rule.
COVID-19 Bulletin: Tax Credits Available for COVID-Related Costs
Small businesses can now apply for a new tax credit to help offset COVID-19 costs. The $250 million COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program will cover up to 50% of eligible expenses, for a maximum benefit of $25,000.
With Canada lifting most travel restrictions, border communities breathe sigh of relief
BUFFALO, N.Y. (The Buffalo News) —Dottie Gallagher, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said fears of random testing and possible quarantines in Ontario all worked to discourage significant aspects of the region’s integrated economy. She called the move “quite frankly, long overdue,” especially for those travelers discouraged to even try navigating requirements like ArriveCan.
9.26.22 Advocacy Alert: Canada to Remove All Border Restrictions
The Public Health Agency of Canada announced it will lift all COVID-related restrictions on international travelers beginning this Saturday, October 1.
Comptroller: “Duplication” in State Workforce Efforts
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recently released a report assessing the state Department of Labor’s workforce development efforts. The report found significant overlap, duplication, gaps, and fragmentation in state workforce development programs and services. The audit found that New York offers over 500 workforce development programs and services, administered