OSHA withdraws emergency mandate for COVID-19 vaccines and tests from private companies


After its defeat in the U.S. Supreme Court, the regulator said it had withdrawn its temporary emergency standard and would focus on crafting formal rules for the permanent standard.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced yesterday that it is withdrawing the temporary emergency vaccination and testing standard issued November 5, 2021, requiring employers with 100 or more employees to impose vaccination against the coronavirus or to carry out weekly tests at his workplace. The withdrawal is effective today.

According to the statement, “Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable temporary emergency standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule. The agency is prioritizing to its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 healthcare standard.

“OSHA strongly encourages the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace,” the statement concludes.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), one of the small business groups that had filed a lawsuit to block OSHA’s measure, welcomed OSHA’s announcement.

Karen Harned, Executive Director of the NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, said: “The small business community is relieved to learn that OSHA has officially withdrawn the ETS vaccine from businesses and will not move further to enforce the mandate. As the NFIB argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, OSHA does not have the emergency power to regulate the U.S. workforce with such a mandate and we are glad the Court accepted . We urge OSHA to also withdraw the proposed rule, as small businesses continue to face extraordinary challenges and this mandate would exacerbate them. It’s a win for small businesses working hard to get their businesses and economy back on track. »

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