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Covid-19 E-Alert

Client Alert: OSHA Withdraws its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On January 26, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced that it is withdrawing the emergency temporary standard that required employers with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or testing and masking rules (the “ETS”). This withdrawal is effective immediately. This comes on the heels of the United States Supreme Court’s January 13, 2022 decision that halted the ETS while legal challenges were to make their way through the lower courts.

While OSHA is withdrawing the ETS as an emergency temporary standard, the agency noted that it is not withdrawing it as a proposed rule via the normal (non-expedited) notice and comment process. OSHA emphasized that it “continues to strongly encourage the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace.” OSHA announced that it will now prioritize its resources “to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.” Concurrent with OSHA’s withdrawal of the ETS, the federal government asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to dismiss the various challenges to the ETS, as those challenges are now moot.

What does this mean for employers of 100+ employees?

These employers no longer need to comply with the ETS’ requirements. Employers may continue to implement COVID-19 policies of their choosing, including measures requiring vaccination, testing, and/or masking, so long as these requirements are consistent with applicable law. In instituting these policies, employers will need to continue to be mindful of their obligation to provide employees with reasonable accommodations on the basis of disability and religion, pursuant to federal and state law.

Bowditch will closely monitor any developments on this issue and update you promptly. Employers with questions should consult with their Bowditch Employment & Labor attorneys.

 

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Tracy Thomas Boland
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Tracy Thomas Boland

Tracy Boland counsels clients on the full range of employment law issues from hiring to firing including performance management, investigations, wage and hour issues, leaves of absence and the accommodations process, discrimination and harassment issues and investigations and reductions in force. She particularly enjoys supporting clients as they work through novel and emerging legal issues such as pay equity and the ever-growing number of paid leave laws. Clients also rely on her to draft and revise employee handbooks, employment agreements, and severance and settlement agreements

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Aimee E. Bierman

Aimee Bierman is an accomplished employment and labor attorney with AmLaw 50 and Fortune 150 experience representing corporate, governmental, and non-profit clients.  She represents employers in a wide range of employment litigation matters, including discrimination, harassment, termination, retaliation, and wage claims brought under various state and federal laws.  Aimee also provides advice and counsel to executives, management, and human resources professionals regarding policy, employee relations, discipline, termination, and non-compete issues.

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About the Authors

Tracy Thomas Boland
Stay Connected
LinkedIn

Partner

Tracy Thomas Boland

Tracy Boland counsels clients on the full range of employment law issues from hiring to firing including performance management, investigations, wage and hour issues, leaves of absence and the accommodations process, discrimination and harassment issues and investigations and reductions in force. She particularly enjoys supporting clients as they work through novel and emerging legal issues such as pay equity and the ever-growing number of paid leave laws. Clients also rely on her to draft and revise employee handbooks, employment agreements, and severance and settlement agreements

Stay Connected
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More Posts by Author ›

bierman listing
Stay Connected
LinkedIn

Of Counsel

Aimee E. Bierman

Aimee Bierman is an accomplished employment and labor attorney with AmLaw 50 and Fortune 150 experience representing corporate, governmental, and non-profit clients.  She represents employers in a wide range of employment litigation matters, including discrimination, harassment, termination, retaliation, and wage claims brought under various state and federal laws.  Aimee also provides advice and counsel to executives, management, and human resources professionals regarding policy, employee relations, discipline, termination, and non-compete issues.

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