November 5, 2021

OSHA Issues Emergency Nationwide Vaccine-or-Test Mandate for Private Businesses

Written By

Amy L. Miles
Member, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC

On Thursday, November 4th, the Biden administration announced a January 4th, 2022 deadline for large employers to ensure that their employees are either (1) fully vaccinated; or (2) wear a face covering at work and submit to weekly testing. The highly anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is set for publication in the Federal Register on November 5th. Continue reading for a summary of the key provisions of the ETS.

Covered employers may comply with the ETS in one of two ways: (1) by requiring that all covered employees be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 (with exceptions for employees who qualify for a medical or religious exemption); or (2) by providing employees with the option to either provide proof of vaccination status or participate in at least once-weekly Covid-19 testing and wear a face near other individuals. Key provisions of the ETS are highlighted below:

Who is covered?

What does the ETS require covered employers to do?

When does it take effect?

What are the penalties for violating the ETS?

Must Employers that operate in states with an OSHA-approved State Plan comply with the ETS?


Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC (SKO) understands that these are trying times for our clients and our country. Our firm operations have continued uninterrupted and our attorneys are equipped to serve as we always have – for more than 120 years.

Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits practice has a proven record of being trusted advisors and effective advocates. We help employers solve their problems through proactive counseling, employee training and, where possible, cost-efficient litigation, including alternative dispute resolution. We know the employment laws thoroughly, and we make it our goal to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of our clients and their business, so we can provide tailored solutions for each of their needs.

Please also be sure to consult the Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Coronavirus Resource webpage for additional articles and information related to the latest information on new laws and directives enacted by federal, state and local governments in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.


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