OSHA withdraws mandate requiring COVID vaccine or testing and masks for some workers

Withdrawal effective Wednesday (Jan. 26)

A person receiving the COVID vaccine. (Seth Wenig, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Federal officials are withdrawing the mandate that requires either COVID vaccination or regular testing and masking for workers of larger companies.

On Nov. 5, 2021, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard aimed at protecting workers of companies with 100 or more employees. The withdrawal comes after last week’s Supreme Court ruling that President Joe Biden lacks the unilateral power to impose this mandate and OSHA doesn’t have the authority to enforce it.

Under the emergency temporary standard, employers meeting that definition were required to develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID vaccination policy. The policy could either require workers to get the COVID vaccine or make exceptions for those who agreed to undergo regular COVID testing and also wear a face covering at work.

On Tuesday, OSHA announced it will withdraw that emergency temporary standard, effective Wednesday (Jan. 26).

“Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule,” the announcement reads. “The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 healthcare standard.”

“OSHA strongly encourages vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace,” the announcement reads.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.