On January 26, OSHA withdrew its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which required large employers to ensure that their employees either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular COVID-19 testing in lieu of vaccination. This announcement follows on the heels of a January 13 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that stayed implementation of the ETS pending a lower court decision on the merits of a legal challenge to the ETS. Despite withdrawing the ETS as an enforceable standard, and effectively ending the current round of ETS litigation, OSHA emphasized that the ETS will continue to serve as its proposal for a permanent standard.
OSHA made clear that although it was withdrawing the ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the ETS will continue to serve as a proposed rule for a permanent standard under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). Moreover, OSHA reiterated its commitment to COVID-19 vaccinations by “strongly encourage[ing]” workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
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