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Federal Court Blocks OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing

On November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to address COVID-19 transmission in the workplace, including mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing of employees. The ETS requires affected employers to comply with most provisions by Dec. 6, 2021, and with its testing requirements by Jan. 4, 2022. Affected employers include private employers with 100 or more employees company-wide.

However, on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, the Fifth Circuit of Court of Appeals ordered a temporary stay on OSHA's COVID-19 ETS regarding mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing for the workplace. The order effectively prevents enforcement of this ETS until a final decision regarding the legality of this ETS is reached. While the temporary stay effectively prevents enforcement of the ETS until a final decision on the legality of the ETS is reached, the law has not been permanently delayed or vacated at this point. As a result, affected employers should continue to monitor the developments of this and other legal challenges to learn more.

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