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Businesses that operate in states with OSHA-approved State Plans should consider taking similar steps to prepare, since State Plan safety standards must be at least as effective as the ETS in protecting employees from COVID-19 hazards. (Credit: VAKSMANV/Adobe Stock) Businesses that operate in states with OSHA-approved State Plans should consider taking similar steps to prepare, since State Plan safety standards must be at least as effective as the ETS in protecting employees from COVID-19 hazards. (Credit: VAKSMANV/Adobe Stock)

On the heels of the announcement of mask and vaccine mandates by New York, California and other jurisdictions, and on the same night that another federal appeals court upheld the block of the federal contractor vaccine mandate, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “vaccine or test” emergency temporary standard (ETS) for private businesses with 100 or more employees.

The decision was issued on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, and was a surprise to many following the litigation, particularly challengers to the ETS who were initially pleased when the often conservative-leaning Sixth Circuit “won” the random lottery selection on Nov. 16, 2021.

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