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Senate Disapproves OSHA's COVID-19 Vax-or-Test ETS

Posted on 12/13/2021 by Roseanne Bottone and Roger Marks

On December 8, 2021, the US Senate voted to disapprove OSHA’s emergency Standard that requires large employers to ensure workers receive a COVID-19 vaccination or are regularly tested.  
Nullifying OSHA’s regulation would require approval from the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the President. If the resolution were approved by all parties, it would take OSHA’s Rule off the books and prevent OSHA from issuing a “substantially similar” regulation in the future.

Enforcement of the emergency temporary standard (ETS) is halted pending the outcome of legal challenges the rule. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule this month on whether OSHA may implement and enforce the new requirements.

New York City’s Vaccine Mandate

Not content to wait for a Federal OSHA Standard that may never take effect, New York City announced a “vaccine mandate” of their own for private employers last week.
The New York City rule takes effect December 27 and applies to every private firm with more than one employee. Unlike OSHA’s embattled ETS, NYC’s requirement does not include an option to test employees who choose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
City officials plan to release more details and reasonable accommodation guidance on December 15.


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