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OSHA Announces Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)

On November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), with input from the Health and Human Services Administration (HHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL), announced the anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) regarding COVID-19 infection in the workplace. The ETS directly affects private employers with 100 or more employees and requires them to implement a mandatory vaccination policy or a policy that requires all unvaccinated employees working in-person begin wearing face masks by December 5, 2021 and provide a negative weekly COVID-19 test beginning January 4, 2022. Under this ETS, employers must establish a written COVID-19 policy inclusive of vaccination requirements and maintain record of proof of vaccination and/or testing based on the policy the employers has chosen to establish.

There are several legal challenges that have already been made to this ETS and others expected. Notably, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a temporary stay on the ETS on November 6, 2021 that effectively prevents enforcement of this ETS until a final decision regarding the legality of this standard is published. As these challenges are litigated, covered employers need to understand the ETS requirements and begin to implement them into their Human Resources policies and procedures.

Read the Legislative Update for complete details, resources, and next steps.

Contact your Cowden representative for more information on this or other compliance issues.