In September the administration had announced that Federal workers, contractors, subcontractors and companies with 100 or more employees must require their workers to be fully vaccinated or get weekly COVID-19 tests. They went on to require employers to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated, and to require that unvaccinated workers continue to wear face masks in the workplace in addition to the weekly tests.
The mandate also included specific requirements for recording keeping and reporting that must be followed. This includes tracking and storing COVID-19 vaccine and test data, and making that data available to those with written authorized consent. Additionally, employers must track and provide the aggregate number of fully vaccinated employees and total number of employees, to any employee or employee representative that requests the information. Compliance with most of the provisions of the order were set with 30 days after it was published, with testing requirements by 60 days after. Companies were told they had until January 4 of 2022 to complete vaccination compliance. A summary of the conditions for the order are written out in OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard, found here.
This far-reaching mandate has been widely contested, and unsurprisingly found its way found its way to U.S. appeals court. On November 12th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard. As such OSHA has said that they will suspend implementing and enforcing the mandate until the issue has been worked out in the courts. You can read their response to this decision here.
Enforcement for the mandate was originally set for January 4th of 2022 and was backed by fines, but may be tied up in court past this time. So while this is not a reversal of the order, it does give companies more time to consider options and make decisions while the issue is debated in court. And although this temporarily pauses the federal vaccine mandate, your state may have, or be considering, their own form of vaccine mandates.
It is clear that this issue is far from over and will continue to be debated in months to come. We will keep an eye on it and update you as the situation evolves.
Read the original vaccine mandate here.
The material presented here is educational in nature and is not intended to be, nor should be relied upon, as legal or financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or financial professional for advice.