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Update to COVID-19 Vaccination OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard and CMS Initial Final Rule

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently lifted the stay on the COVID-19 OSHA ETS. This OSHA policy is now in effect for all Employers that have over 100 employees. By January 10, 2022, covered employers are required to implement written COVID-19 Vaccination policies, including testing and mitigation policies, if applicable. Additionally, all employers will be required to track the vaccination status of all their employees, determine if exemption requests for medical or religious reasons can be reasonably accommodated, and plan for weekly testing of all unvaccinated employees. By February 9, 2022, weekly COVID-19 testing and reporting must be conducted. OSHA is mindful of the time needed to implement these policies and no citations will be issued to covered employers who are “exercising reasonable, good faith efforts” to comply with the standard.” This decision is being appealed to the Supreme Court on Constitutional grounds, but for the time being, Employers should make all necessary preparations for compliance with the OSHA ETS.

The CMS IFR vaccination policy is now in effect in 26 states, including New Jersey. The policy requires vaccination of healthcare workers that work in certified Medicare and Medicaid facilities. This rule requires all covered employees to receive first dose by Dec. 6, and to be fully vaccinated by Jan 4. 2022. No changes have been made for the compliance dates for the CMS vaccine policy at the moment. Unlike the OSHA ETS, there is no weekly test option under the CMS IFR, with very limited exceptions.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the OSHA ETS or the CMS IFR in your business, or would like assistance in drafting any policies to ensure your company is in compliance, reach out to the LCR COVID-19 Advisory Team at Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP at 973-729-1880 or via email:

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