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Yesterday, we reported that the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new emergency temporary standard to protect more than 84 million workers from the spread of the coronavirus on the job. The requirement, which more details of can be found here, applies specifically to business with 100 or more workers, making it a critical development for many building service contractors (BSCs). Failure to do so includes potential penalties up to $14,000 per violation among other penalties. 

As reported by NPR, however, an emergency stay of this OSHA requirement, which would have required qualifying businesses to either have employees vaccinated by Jan 4, 2022 (or have weekly tests or submit to mask requirements otherwise) has since been granted by the 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, based in New Orleans. The court claims the delay was made because of concerns of the requirements violating constitutional rights for businesses. 

The temporary halt comes along with 27 states challenging Biden’s requirements in multiple circuits, many of them coming in states with judicial representatives appointed by former president Donald Trump. In response to the the emergency stay, Biden’s administration remains confident that the requirements will prevail, noting that state laws can be pre-empted by safety measures being imposed. 

The next governmental steps include an expedited reply to the motion for a permanent injunction, which will then be followed by the opportunity for a petitioners’ reply the following day. Be sure to tune back in to CleanLink on a regular basis for updates on this fast-developing story.