After loss at U.S. Supreme Court, regulator says it has withdrawn its emergency temporary standard and will focus on formal rulemaking for permanent standard.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced yesterday it is withdrawing the vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard issued on Nov. 5, 2021, requiring employers with 100 or more employees to mandate coronavirus vaccination or conduct weekly testing across its workplace. The withdrawal is effective today.
According to the statement, “Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule. The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.”
“OSHA strongly encourages vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace,” the statement concluded.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), one of the small business groups that had sued to block the OSHA measure, welcomed the OSHA announcement.
Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, said “The small business community is relieved to hear that OSHA has officially withdrawn the vaccine ETS on businesses and will no longer move to enforce the mandate. As NFIB argued at the U.S. Supreme Court, OSHA does not have the emergency authority to regulate the American workforce with such a mandate and we are pleased the Court agreed. We urge OSHA to also withdraw the proposed rule as small businesses continue to face extraordinary challenges and this mandate would exacerbate those. This is a win for small businesses who are working hard to get their businesses and the economy back on track.”