NAICU Washington Update

Biden Administration Withdraws Emergency Regulations on Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

January 28, 2022

In the wake of an unfavorable Supreme Court ruling, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has announced that it is withdrawing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) establishing a vaccine or testing mandate for large employers.

According to the agency, “[a]lthough OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule….”   While OSHA’s statement leaves open the possibility that the agency could attempt to revive the vaccine or testing mandate for large employers in the form of a final rule, the agency noted that it is currently “prioritizing its resources” to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19-related standard for healthcare workers.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court issued an injunction halting implementation of the ETS requiring employers with 100 or more employees to impose a vaccine or testing mandate on their workers. In addition, President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) requiring federal contractors to impose a vaccine mandate on their employees remains blocked by the federal courts. Both the OSHA ETS and the EO are part of the broad COVID-19 action plan announced by President Biden in September.  

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