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NCA Member Alert: OSHA Vaccine Emergency Temporary Standard Released

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released the expected emergency temporary standard (ETS) regarding vaccination and testing of employees working for entities with more than 100 employees. You can find resources on the ETS on OSHA’s website and the vaccine policy fact sheet.

The deadline for workers to receive their shots will be January 4, 2022, which is the same as previous rules issued by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) covering health care workers. Recognizing that states have taken actions attempting to block implementation of a vaccine requirement, OSHA makes clear that the new ETS preempts any inconsistent state or local laws, including those that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks or testing. The testing requirement will begin after January 4, 2022, but employers must be in compliance with all other requirements, such as providing paid time off for employees to receive the vaccination and masking requirements for unvaccinated employees on December 5, 2021.

Legal Fallout: As NCA has noted in the past, the new ETS is likely to be challenged in the courts. A group of 24 state attorneys general have previously stated their belief that such a mandate is unlawful. At this time, it is unknown whether such an effort would be successful or whether a judge would place an injunction on the rule prior to its effective date. NCA will be monitoring the situation and will provide updates should the need arise.

If you have any questions on this matter, please contact NCA Vice President of Government Relations Joe Trauger at [email protected] or 202-822-9822.