OSHA Mandates COVID Vaccination or Testing for Employers with 100 or More Employees: 5th Circuit Says Not So Fast

Please Note: This Legal Alert is out-of-date. Click here for the most recent (1/18/22) OSHA Legal Alert.

On Friday, November 5, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published new rules requiring covered employers with 100 or more employees to implement policies and protocols to ensure that by January 4, 2022 their employees are either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or subject to weekly COVID-19 testing.

You can find summaries of the rules provided by the law firms Fisher Phillips and Jackson Lewis here and here.

However, as expected, the new OSHA rules were quickly challenged in several federal appellate courts and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has put a hold on the implementation of the rules until the court conducts a detailed review.

Please see a summary provided by Fisher Phillips here.

What Should Employers Do Now?

Nonprofits that employ fewer than 100 employees are not required to take any action.

Nonprofits with 100 or more employees should familiarize themselves with the rules and start to prepare to implement them in order to ensure compliance in the event the legal challenges to the rules are not successful. This might mean updating or drafting vaccination and testing policies and preparing and training staff on how you will implement/operationalize the policy should it come into effect.

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Please contact the Pro Bono Partnership office with which you typically engage with questions. New Jersey: 973-240-6955; New York and Fairfield County, CT: 914-328-0674; Connecticut outside of Fairfield County: 860-541-4951.

This document is provided as a general informational service to volunteers, clients, and friends of Pro Bono Partnership. It should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal advice on any specific matter, nor does distribution of this document create an attorney-client relationship.