OSHA ETS updates

Overview and FAQs


OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard Updates

Since its release in early November of 2021, the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which seeks to require businesses with 100+ employees to implement COVID-19 “vaccine or test” policies, has been met with challenges. Listed below are the most significant updates related to the ETS.

January 24, 2022

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has withdrawn its vaccine-or-test Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for employers of 100 or more employees. This is the official end of the ETS.   
  • OSHA is proceeding with a permanent COVID-19 healthcare standard via the regular (slower) proposed rulemaking process, and that standard is likely to have similar requirements as the ETS if finalized.
  • Employers should continue to comply with all other federal, state and local requirements.

January 13, 2022

  • Today, the United States Supreme Court stayed the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). This decision means that private companies with 100 or more employees are no longer mandated to institute vaccine-or-test requirements at this time.  In its ruling today, the Supreme Court found that the challenges to the ETS were likely to succeed on the merits and sent the case back to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for further proceedings.  We will continue to monitor the proceedings for any rulings that may impact private employers.

January 10, 2022

  • The OSHA ETS goes into effect today (still no response from the Supreme Court). We recommend that all employers with 100 or more employees should proceed with good faith efforts to comply with the ETS.

January 7, 2022

  • The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on OSHA’s Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Unless the Supreme Court stays the ETS, it remains in effect.

Dec. 17, 2021

  • A three-judge panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the OSHA COVID-19 ETS.
  • For key compliance efforts, OSHA has adjusted the ETS’s compliance deadlines to January 10, 2022 (originally December 6, 2021) for the majority of the ETS’ requirements, and February 9, 2022 (originally January 4, 2022) for employers to begin testing employees that are not fully vaccinated, to account for the stayed period. No other components of the ETS have changed.
  • Since this decision, there have been multiple emergency petitions filed with the U.S. Supreme Court asking to enjoin the ETS.

Nov. 16, 2021

  • The Sixth Circuit won the multidistrict litigation lottery to hear all challenges to the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).

Nov. 12, 2021

  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order to stay enforcement and implementation of the OSHA ETS. Legislation pertaining to the ETS continues to be under scrutiny at the federal level.

Nov. 4, 2021

  • The White House released the highly anticipated guidelines for implementing the OSHA ETS.
  • This standard applies to most employers with 100 or more employees and calls for a written policy and mandatory vaccination or weekly testing, among other requirements.

Sept. 9, 2021

  • The White House issued The Path Out of the Pandemic: President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan. 
  • The plan included, among other things, a request that OSHA issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) mandating that certain employers require all employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or be subject to weekly testing.

Insperity Premier & Mobile App Resources

We have recently introduced features on our Insperity PremierTM  platform which provides employers and employees with a streamlined solution to manage COVID-19 information required in accordance with company, state and/or federal policies.

The robust technology not only enables employers who want to collect COVID-19 data from employees, including vaccination status, test tracking and supporting documentation, but it also provides client administrators with detailed reports of the workforce for validation and update purposes. The COVID Roster Report provides client administrators with a simple way to view totals by company, vaccination status, accommodations and exemptions for employees, along with work locations.

Within the Insperity Premier mobile app, employees have access to an intuitive feature that guides them through various steps to provide employers with necessary COVID-19 data. The easy-to-use feature facilitates data submission and updates related to vaccination status, vaccine type/dates, COVID-19 testing status/dates and supporting documentation, in a confidential and convenient manner.

Additional Resources

NOTE: Prior to implementing any mandatory vaccine policy, we encourage you to work closely with your Insperity HR professionals and outside counsel.

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