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The OSHA Vaccine Mandate Is Back On….

By Steve Parascandola, Smith Anderson Law Firm

On Friday, December 17, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit breathed new life into the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees. The 6th Circuit’s ruling was immediately appealed to the United States Supreme Court but, for now, the decision means that the Emergency Temporary Standard on Vaccination and Testing (the “Vaccine ETS”) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is back in effect.

OSHA originally published the Vaccine ETS in the Federal Register on November 5th. Please see our previous summary of the new emergency rules. The most significant part of the new ETS is a requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to require COVID-19 vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests as a condition of employment. The Vaccine ETS also imposes various other obligations on covered employers, including masking requirements for unvaccinated employees, paid time off to receive vaccines and paid sick leave to recover from adverse side effects following each dose.

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