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OSHA withdraws vaccine mandate after SCOTUS loss

February 3, 2022

On Jan. 26, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) formally withdrew its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and abandoned its efforts to defend the merits of the ETS in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

OSHA’s decision to withdraw the ETS follows a Jan. 13, 2022, decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to stay enforcement of the ETS pending the outcome of legal challenges. By withdrawing the ETS, OSHA eliminated any remaining chance that the ETS will be resurrected through the federal courts. Accordingly, large employers are now officially freed from any further compliance obligations arising from the ETS.

Notably, in conjunction with its decision to withdraw the ETS, OSHA announced that it would continue to work on implementing a permanent COVID-19 standard through the normal non-emergency rule-making process. While OSHA’s potential adoption of a permanent standard is not imminent, employers should continue to monitor OSHA’s rulemaking efforts to stay abreast of any future compliance obligations.

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Godfrey & Kahn can help, contact a member of our Labor, Employment & Immigration Law Practice Group.

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