On January 25, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it is withdrawing its COVID-19 vaccination and testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which OSHA originally issued on November 5, 2021 and required employers with more than 100 employees to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination or testing policy. The withdrawal will be effective on January 26, 2022.
Although OSHA is withdrawing the ETS as an enforceable temporary standard, it is keeping the ETS provisions in place to serve as a notice of proposed rulemaking for a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.
Even with the COVID-19 ETS withdrawn, OSHA will be able to use its enforcement of the General Duty Clause to address workplace responses to COVID-19, which requires employers to provide their employees with a safe and healthy workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
OSHA’s full announcement on its withdrawal of the COVID-19 ETS is available here.