Vaccine

Employers with 100 or more workers across Oregon and around the nation who were previously facing a federal mandate to either enforce mandatory vaccination in the workplace or have their employees undergo regular COVID-19 testing, now are not immediately facing the mandate.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is suspending mandatory enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccination for large employers following a Wednesday, Nov. 17, court ruling.

On Nov. 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which was to take effect Nov. 5, with a compliance deadline of Jan. 4. The court ordered that OSHA “take no steps to implement or enforce” the ETS “until further court order.”

Enforcement of the ETS is pending future developments in the litigation, according to OSHA.

OSHA said the standard would have covered 84 million Americans and protect against “grave danger from workplace exposure to coronavirus.” The ETS also required employers to provide paid time to workers to get vaccinated and to allow for paid leave to recover from any side effects.

Prior to OSHA’s emergency standard, Gov. Kate Brown announced two measures Aug. 19 to combat the coronavirus, eliminating the COVID-19 testing alternative for healthcare workers and ordering K-12 educators, staff, and volunteers be fully vaccinated by the Oct. 18 deadline in order to return to work.

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