A federal appeals court had issued an injunction staying the OSHA rule that required employers with at least 100 employees to ensure workers are either vaccinated or tested weekly and wear masks. Because there were numerous lawsuits challenging the rule pending in the federal circuit courts around the country, the cases were consolidated into the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Late on Friday night, the 6th Circuit lifted the stay, allowing the rule to remain in effect. The Court’s decision can be found at 21a0287p-06.pdf (uscourts.gov).
Those employers covered by the rule now have until January 10 to comply with the standard, according to OSHA. The ruling was quickly appealed, however, on an emergency basis to the Supreme Court. In view of that appeal, OSHA will not enforce any of the requirements until January 10. Additionally, the agency “will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard,” according to an OSHA update.
We will wait to see what the U.S. Supreme Court does with this 6th Circuit ruling. Please note that this ruling does not affect the injunctions that other courts have issued against the federal contractor vaccine mandate and the health care worker mandate. We anticipate that all of these mandates will ultimately be considered by the Supreme Court.
John Falcone and Luke Malloy handle employment law matters at PLDR Law. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about this matter.