Court Reinstates Vaccine Mandate; OSHA Sets New Compliance Dates

Late last Friday, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a two-to-one decision, lifted a judicial stay of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA immediately announced set new dates by which employers must come into compliance with the vaccine mandate.

The agency said it will not issue citations for non-compliance with any aspect of the vaccine mandate before Jan. 10 and that it will not issue any citations for non-compliance with the mandate’s testing requirements before Feb. 9 “so long as the employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.” The mandate requires employers with 100 or more employees to in turn require their employees be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. Unvaccinated employees also would be required to wear a mask when indoors except when alone in a private office.

The states and private entities that have challenged OSHA’s vaccine mandate are expected to seek review of the Sixth Circuit panel’s decision by the full circuit court. The Sixth Circuit’s final action in this case is also expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court. 

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