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]
We are pleased to introduce Seth Piccirillo, BNP’s Director of Economic Development as our latest Staff Spotlight. Seth’s role is to help our members increase their competitiveness and ability to thrive in the local, national and international economy. Learn a little bit more about Seth in this brief Q&A.
We are pleased to introduce BNP’s Senior Manager, Member Engagement – Nancy McNamara as our latest Staff Spotlight.
Nancy’s role is to engage our members in the services and resources offered by the BNP that offers them value and enable their businesses to thrive.
Without fanfare, the New York State Department of Labor updated its website to announce the relaxation of some NY HERO Act provisions. Employers can now forego enforcing their workplace safety plans.
Governor Kathy Hochul has issued an Executive Order extending New York’s state of emergency declaration for COVID-19. The state of emergency was scheduled to expire today, but Hochul extended the declaration through April 15.