On December 17, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the stay of OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Following this ruling, OSHA issued notification that the agency will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.

The ETS requires employers with 100 or more employees to keep records on the vaccination status of each employee and implement written policies describing the requirements for vaccinations and testing by January 10. The weekly testing option for employees that aren’t vaccinated is required by February 9.

OSHA has released a sample mandatory vaccination policy and sample employee option policy. Penalties for non compliance with the ETS could be up to $13,653 per violation, or more for willful or egregious failures to comply.

On a related note, enforcement of the separate vaccination requirement and COVID safety protocols for federal contractors has been blocked since December 9 when a nationwide injunction was issued. There is likely more legal wrangling and guidance coming in the weeks ahead on both the federal contractor requirement and the OSHA ETS for companies with 100 or more employees.

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