Update 11.8.21: On Nov. 6, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a stay of the OSHA ETS, stating that the OSHA ETS may have “grave statutory and constitutional issues.” The stay is not a final ruling on the validity of the ETS but temporarily halts its implementation nationwide. OSHA has until Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:00 PM to respond and the petitioners have until Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:00 PM to reply to OSHA’s response. The Fifth Circuit will then issue its ruling likely late this week or early next week.
On Sept. 9, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his COVID-19 Action Plan. The Action Plan called on the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to develop a rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.
On Nov. 4, 2021, OSHA released the rule in the form of an Emergency Temporary Standards (“OSHA ETS”). Here are ten things you need to know about the OSHA ETS:
- How To Count To 100: (1) The applicable number is the total number of employees employed on November 5, 2021—this is the headcount that will be used for the duration of the OSHA ETS. (2) The count must be done at the employer level not the individual location level. (3) Part-time employees do count towards the total number of employees. (4) Employees who work from home do count towards the total number of employees. (5) Independent contractors do not count towards the total number of employee.