On Thursday, November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)  applicable to employers of 100 or more employees. The ETS requires employers  to adopt a soft vaccine mandate obligating employees to either get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and to wear a face covering at work. OSHA expressly states that the ETS pre-empts all state or local laws that are contrary to the ETS requirements. The ETS will be effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register (November 5, 2021).  However, employees who work for covered employers will have until January 4, 2022 to get vaccinated or otherwise comply with the testing/masking requirements.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Employers of 100 or More Employees

On June 9, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued a new COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) with the scope of the ETS limited to certain workplace settings that are defined as healthcare service and healthcare support service settings, unless the healthcare setting is specifically excluded. In conjunction with its release of the ETS, on June 10, 2021, OSHA also issued new guidance applicable to employers and workers that are not covered by the ETS. The stated purpose of the new guidance is to enable employers to better recognize and abate hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation under the General Duty clause and other existing mandatory OSHA standards. To accompany our recent commentary on the ETS, we also have prepared the following summary of the OSHA guidance directed at employers not covered by the ETS.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues New Guidance Applicable to all Employers Not Covered by the ETS

On June 9, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its long anticipated interim final rule and request for comments for the Occupational Exposure to COVID-19; Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). OSHA released the ETS one day after the approval of the standard was received from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. The ETS is limited to covered healthcare employers and excludes from coverage of the standard certain healthcare workplaces that have a fully vaccinated workforce and that exclude individuals with possible COVID-19 infections. The rule becomes effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register with deadlines for compliance that vary by section of the ETS. Written comments regarding whether the ETS should become a final rule must be submitted within 30 days of the publication date in the Federal Register. A brief overview of the ETS’s requirements are provided below.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues Federal COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard