The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over the OSHA COVID-19 (coronavirus) Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for employers with 100 or more employees on January 7, 2022. The ETS requires covered employers to ensure that workers who aren’t fully vaccinated are tested at least weekly for COVID-19. We expect the court will try to issue a ruling as quickly as possible, given OSHA’s stated enforcement date of January 10, 2022, which we reported here. The ETS is still moving forward despite the pending Supreme Court review, which means that covered employers should prepare to comply. See our previous article outlining steps employers can take toward compliance while awaiting final developments in the ongoing litigation.
Tips: States such as Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington that have their own safety and health agencies have been instructed by OSHA to either adopt the federal ETS or publish state standards that are at least as effective by January 24, 2022. So far, only Oregon OSHA’s COVID-19 web page has confirmed the January 24 timeline and said its rules (which haven’t been published yet) would take effect 30 days later. Keep in mind that even if the OSHA vaccine mandate is overturned at the federal level, state safety and health agencies in California, Oregon, and Washington may choose to issue their own workplace vaccine and testing mandates. (Arizona likely won’t, because it joined in a lawsuit challenging OSHA’s mandate.) Vigilant will continue to monitor developments and keep members posted.