It may, once again, be time for employers to review and update their COVID-19 workplace safety policies.
Sighs of relief due to newfound clarity about whether they were required to quickly implement a vaccinate-or-test policy, coupled with off-pitch renditions of Taylor Swift’s Stay Stay Stay were likely heard from the offices of large employers Thursday afternoon, January 13, 2022, after the Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily stay the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) was released.
Large employers likely had a particularly bad case of the Mondays this week after a weekend of anticipating whether the Supreme Court would stay the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) + (“ETS”) as a result of oral arguments presented on Friday, January 7, 2022.
While employers throughout the country are waiting on the Sixth Circuit to consider OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard requiring private employers with more than 100 employees to implement mandatory vaccination or testing policies, New York City employers are contending with additional local and state rules for vaccines and masks.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose term as mayor ends on January 1, 2022, has announced that the city’s Department of Health will issue a mandate requiring full vaccination of any employee of a private sector business.
The new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) emergency temporary standard mandating various COVID-19 policies and procedures for employers with at least 100 employees (“ETS”) has an uncertain future in light of recent legal challenges.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has published its long-awaited emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) on COVID-19 vaccination, testing and face coverings, effective as of today (November 5, 2021), and applicable to employers with 100 or more employees.
The White House has announced that the requirement for covered employees at covered federal contractor workplaces to be fully vaccinated under the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors (the “Contractor Guidance”) has been extended to January 4, 2022.
When Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on October 11th stating that no entity in Texas could compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination by “any individual, including an employee or a consumer” who objects for any reason of “personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19,” he set the stage for a potential conflict with pre-existing executive orders issued by President Biden.
At this point, you’re probably aware that the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Action Plan required all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.
Perhaps I should not have been surprised that my clients who have mandated COVID-19 vaccines have seen far more objections to their mandates based on religious grounds than on medical conditions or disabilities.
While many service, retail and factory workers returned to work several months ago, many employers with white-collar workers have been less inclined to mandate that employees return to the office.