The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently halted enforcement of OSHA’s mandate for universal COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing at companies with more than 100 employees. The Sixth Circuit Court should issue a decision soon on the temporary stay.
Today was supposed to be the first big deadline for complying with the OSHA emergency temporary standard (ETS). Among the requirements, companies with more than 100 employees were to have a written plan in place to comply with the ETS, determined the vaccination status of all workers and required face coverings for all unvaccinated workers.
An order from the Fifth Circuit Court on Nov. 12 stayed all enforcement of the ETS. Many major challenges to the ETS were consolidated into a case now before the Sixth Circuit Court. OSHA has asked that court to dissolve the stay, which will see responses and replies this week.
A resolution on the original stay might not come until late next week. In the meantime, NAHB members should familiarize themselves with requirements of the ETS in the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard Toolkit.
For resources on vaccinations, see NAHB’s COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction page.
Although there is a stay on the vaccine/testing ETS, OSHA is still issuing citations regarding COVID-19 safety. Just last week, a grocery store in Georgia received nearly $10,000 in fines after an OSHA inspector found that it “did not develop and implement timely and effective measures to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2.”
NAHB is actively engaged in the ETS issue and will keep members apprised throughout the process. Above all else, companies should remain flexible and prepared to handle any outcome from the courts. In the meantime, if you have additional questions on what you should do, consult with your local attorney or OSHA field office for further assistance.