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Biden Shot-or-Test Enforcement to Begin in January, DOL Says

Dec. 18, 2021, 4:20 PM

Large employers will have until Jan. 10 to comply with the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccinate-or-test rule, the U.S. Labor Department said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will give companies more time—until Feb. 9—before issuing citations for violating the regulation’s testing requirement, according to the Labor Department’s statement that followed an appeals court decision reviving the measure.

The enforcement grace period hinges on employers “exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard,” the department said.

OSHA’s emergency rule, which is set to expire in May in its current form, calls on employers with at least 100 workers to mandate that their employees get vaccinated against Covid-19 or get tested regularly. The temporary standard also requires companies to develop a vaccine policy, determine employee vaccination status, and provide leave for worker vaccination or recovery.

The agency issued the shot-or-test rule Nov. 5, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit blocked it with a Nov. 6 order. The Sixth Circuit, which took control of the consolidated case challenging the rule after winning a multi-circuit lottery, lifted that stay Friday evening.

The state of Ohio, trucking industry organizations, conservative advocacy groups, and other opponents of the rule petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to block the OSHA rule in the hours after the Sixth Circuit allowed it to take effect.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Iafolla in Washington at riafolla@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com; Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com

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