On January 25, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced that it is withdrawing the November 5, 2021, Vaccine or Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (Vaccination and Testing ETS), which impacted employers with 100 or more employees. This will end the existing legal challenges. However, OSHA stated that “notwithstanding the withdrawal of the Vaccination and Testing ETS, OSHA continues to strongly encourage the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace.”
As a reminder, OSHA’s General Duty Clause, Section 5, requires that employers keep their workplaces “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” As of Friday, January 14, 2022, OSHA has issued more than $4,034,288 in initial coronavirus-related penalties. Employers should speak with their counsel regarding general OSHA compliance and best practices.