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.
To help employers understand and plan for this rule, the BNP is hosting a free virtual seminar on December 2. Learn more and register here. [Past event-registration closed]
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.
We are pleased to introduce Stephanie Wehrlin, BNP’s Assistant Event and Program Manager as our latest Staff Spotlight.
Stephanie has a specific focus on our Young Professional division, BN360. She creates an engaging platform for young professionals in the Buffalo Niagara region to connect, collaborate, learn, and be empowered.
Learn a little bit more about Stephanie in this brief Q&A.
The federal CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, known as CHIPS+, was signed into law by President Biden on August 9, 2022. This new legislation directs $52 billion toward renewing the heavily outsourced U.S. semiconductor manufacturing sector and reinvigorating U.S. chip research and development activities.
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.