On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court paused OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) from going into effect. The ETS required employers with 100 or more employees to mandate that employees either be vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly COVID testing and face covering requirement.
For now, employers with 100 or more employees are not required to comply with the ETS. The case will return to the Sixth Circuit for a decision on the merits. Therefore, it is possible, although unlikely, that the ETS will eventually become effective.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, OSHA issued a statement urging “all employers to require workers to get vaccinated or tested weekly” and to follow OSHA’s comprehensive COVID-19 guidance to help employers meet their responsibility for the safety of workers. Keep in mind that employers have a continuing obligation under OSHA’s general duty clause to provide a work environment free from recognized hazards, which would include taking recommended precautions to prevent transmission of COVID in the workplace.