OSHA withdrew its vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard Jan. 26, according to the Federal Register.

The agency, however, is not “withdrawing the ETS to the extent that it serves as a proposed rule,” allowing OSHA to work on a new, more narrow, permanent rule. 

The rule OSHA announced last November mandated that most employers with 100 or more employees to either require employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly for the virus.

The future of the mandate became clear Jan. 13 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that OSHA could not enforce the standard while an appeals court considered its legalities.  

Since then, attorneys general in dozens of states called on OSHA to withdraw the rule.

“OSHA continues to strongly encourage the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace,” the agency wrote in its withdrawal.

Workplace Requirements

Employers can implement their own vaccine or testing requirement for employees, as long as they are consistent with local law. 

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said he applauds OSHA for withdrawing the mandate, while encouraging employers to implement their own workplace safety requirements.

"Vaccines remain the quickest path to getting people back to work and restoring the economy."

CBIA's Chris DiPentima

“The broad emergency temporary standard was restrictive to businesses and put them in a difficult position with their employees at a time when retaining workers is already a challenge," he said.

“CBIA believes keeping businesses operating smoothly without disruption is critical in this time of uncertainty.

“Vaccines remain the quickest path to getting people back to work and restoring the economy.”