Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether to stay the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing (ETS). The outcome of this hearing will have significant ramifications for employers and employees. The ETS requires COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for all workers at most companies with 100 or more employees. The issue is on appeal after the Sixth Circuit dissolved a previously issued stay of the ETS on December 17, 2021, clearing the way for OSHA to begin enforcing the ETS.
Employers covered by the ETS must begin complying with all but the ETS’ weekly testing requirements on January 10, 2022. Additional information can be found in our prior eAlert here. Yesterday, however, MIOSHA announced that OSHA is providing states with their own state-level occupational safety agencies ─ like Michigan ─ until January 24, 2022, to adopt the ETS or an equivalent. The agency also announced that it is closely monitoring the legal challenges while preparing for the January 24 deadline. MIOSHA’s announcement can be found here. Although nothing prevents MIOSHA from adopting the ETS at any time, its recent announcement suggests that the agency may delay its adoption until January 24. Covered Michigan employers, therefore, may have two additional weeks to prepare for and enforce the workplace safety policies and procedures required by the ETS.
Warner’s Labor and Employment Practice Group is monitoring MIOSHA’s adoption and enforcement of the ETS. For compliance assistance, or to purchase Warner’s comprehensive package of ETS-related templates featured in this previous eAlert, please contact your Warner attorney or a member of Warner’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.