Suspension of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

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On November 4, 2021, Burke Warren reported the announcement of the Department of Labor's Occupational and Safety Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard (“OSHA’s ETS”) directing private businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, or have workers demonstrate a negative virus test on a weekly basis. Employers were required to implement policies by December 5, 2021, and begin providing paid time off for workers to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects from being vaccinated, as well as mandate masks in the workplace for unvaccinated workers.

However, on November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA’s ETS. The court ordered that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the ETS “until further court order.” While OSHA reported that it remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.

For compliance questions, please contact Burke Warren partners Rachel E. Bossard at 312-840-7029 or Alex D. Marks at 312-840-7022.

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