Here’s another Emergency Temporary Standard vaccine mandate update and advice on what your options are.
Back on Wednesday, Nov. 17th, we informed you on who the winner of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s lottery was – the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. And how it would hear the consolidated litigation over the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Well, on Friday, Nov. 19, OSHA announced “[it] has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”
Reason: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 12, got a second stay prohibiting OSHA from moving forward with its ETS of the vaccine mandate.
But as you know this is not the end of it. OSHA also stated on its website that it “remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies.”
Forge ahead with vaccine mandate?
So what do you do in the meantime?
First off, decide whether the mandate applies to you. Do you have 100 or more employees? If no, then don’t worry about it. If yes, you should probably keep forging ahead on the ETS vaccine mandate.
If you aren’t sure what constitutes 100 or more employees, OSHA answers that question in its ETS Frequently Asked Questions 2.A. It covers everything from separate locations, to franchises, to part-timers, to independent contractors and more.
If you answered yes, the reason you should keep moving ahead with the ETS is what if the mandate comes out on top in the next week or so? The deadlines are:
- All employers with 100 or more employees must be in compliance with all requirements by Dec. 5, 2021, and
- Testing requirements for unvaccinated workers begins Jan. 4, 2022.
There’s no guarantee if OSHA wins the lawsuit that it’ll give an extension on the deadlines. So if it gets approved lets say at the end of December, and you haven’t been working on your compliance until this point, you’re going to be in a pickle.
There’s a chance that if OSHA comes out on top before the end of the year, it might extend the deadlines. But there’s also a chance it won’t.
That’s why the best bet seems to be keep moving ahead with your ETS vaccine mandate compliance, so if the deadlines stick, you’ll be ready.