Q. What is the status of the Sixth Circuit’s consideration of the challenges to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), and how does it impact the upcoming deadlines set by the ETS?
A. As discussed in our previous alert, on November 5, OSHA published an ETS that would require private employers with 100 or more employees to establish, by January 4, 2022 either (1) a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy; or (2) a vaccination policy that requires employees to either be fully vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work. The ETS would also require covered employers, by December 6, to: (1) determine the vaccination status of all employees; (2) provide leave for them to get vaccinated and recover from side effects of vaccination; and (3) ensure unvaccinated employees wear face coverings at work. Multiple challenges were filed over the ETS after OSHA’s issuance of the ETS, and, on November 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was selected by lottery to hear the consolidated challenges to OSHA’s recent ETS, including the Fifth Circuit’s extension of a nationwide stay of the ETS on November 12.