OSHA's Emergency Standard Requiring Private Employers to Mandate Vaccination Stayed, Reinstated, Lifted

Shortly after the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") announced its emergency standard requiring private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccination, employers petitioned the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the enforcement of OSHA's emergency standard.  The court granted the petition on November 6, 2021, stating that "the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues" with OSHA's emergency standard. 

Nov. 12, 2021 update: The Fifth Circuit Court continued the stay. Following the order, OSHA has suspended the enforcement of the OSHA standard. 

Nov. 16, 2021 update: The Sixth Circuit Court (Cincinnati, OH) was chosen by lottery to hear all cases related to OSHA's emergency standard. The future of OSHA's standard remains uncertain. 

Dec. 17, 2021 update:  The Sixth Circuit Court has reinstated OSHA's emergency standard, which means that covered by the standard employers must mandate vaccination or weekly testing to their employees, starting January 4, 2022.  This will affect approximately 80 million workers.   OSHA said it will delay enforcement of the vaccination requirements of the ETS until January 10, 2022, and will wait until February 9, 2022, to start enforcing the optional testing component of the ETS.

January 13, 2022 update:  The U.S. Supreme Court has lifted OSHA's emergency standard.  Private employers do not have to (though they still may choose to) impose a vaccination mandate on employees. 
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