January 31, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 31


January 30, 2023

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OSHA Temporarily Suspends ETS Implementation Per Fifth Circuit Injunction

Breaking News: Sixth Circuit Selected to Hear Consolidated ETS Legal Challenges

The status of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) mandating COVID-19 vaccinations or testing of employees for those employers with 100 or more employees remains fluid and uncertain. On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ordered a continuation of the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the ETS, directing OSHA to take “no steps to implement or enforce the Mandate until further Court Order.” The Department of Labor has acknowledged the Fifth Circuit’s Order and posted the following message on its webpage: “OSHA has suspended its activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future development in the litigation.”

What does this mean? The future of the ETS remains uncertain in light of litigation in multiple forums. This week, a determination will be made regarding which federal Court of Appeals will be tasked with determining the legality and constitutionality of the ETS. Hopefully soon we will receive an indication of whether the assigned Court will take immediate action to reconsider the Fifth Circuit’s stay that is currently in place, or keep it in effect pending determination of the legal challenges. In the meantime, employers may wish to continue with steps to ensure they will be ready to comply in the event the rule is upheld or the Fifth Circuit’s stay is lifted.   

© 2023 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 320

About this Author

Stephanie R. Setterington, labor and employment attorney, Varnum

Stephanie advises employers on a wide variety of labor and employment matters, with an emphasis on employment litigation defense, and the identification and development of best practices in the area of human resources. She has worked extensively as labor and employment counsel for publicly-traded and privately-held companies that vary from single-site businesses to multi-state or global entities. She works with each client to ensure compliance with labor and employment-related legal requirements, develop effective human resource operations, and achieve the successful...

Elizabeth Wells Skaggs, labor and employment attorney, Varnum

Beth is a partner in the labor and employment practice group, focusing employment issues and litigation. She has counseled business clients on a variety of matters affecting the workplace, including effective employee handbooks and policies, disciplinary and dispute resolution procedures, discrimination issues, disability accommodation, wage-hour matters, family medical leave, harassment prevention and litigation avoidance.  When litigation is unavoidable, Beth has significant experience representing employers under the numerous state and federal statutes that govern the...

Maureen Rouse-Ayoub Labor Employment Attorney

Maureen represents clients in all areas of labor and employment. She advises clients on labor management relations including union election proceedings, collective bargaining and contract enforcement in arbitration and before the National Labor Relations Board. Maureen defends employment-related claims including discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Whistleblowers' and Fair Labor Standards Act violations in federal and state courts, administrative proceedings and arbitration hearings. She counsels clients on drafting, implementation and enforcement of workplace policies....

Ashleigh E. Draft Associate Grand Rapids Labor & Employment

Ashleigh is an associate attorney currently working with the labor and employment group. She also works with higher education clients and provides support on a variety of litigation matters.

Ashleigh’s experience includes serving as a legal extern for the Michigan Court of Appeals Research Division. She also clerked for Michigan Appeals Court Judge Jane Beckering. Prior to law school, Ashleigh served organizations in the higher education and nonprofit sectors in various development and communications roles. 

Justin M. Wolber Corporate Attorney Varnum Law Grand Rapids

Justin has a variety of experience working in several areas of the law. He is a skilled researcher with experience in litigation, corporate, real estate, and employment matters. Justin has experience in drafting organization and entity formation documents, performing due diligence in corporate matters, and providing research on commercial litigation and employment law matters.

While in law school, Justin was a member of Notre Dame’s Jessup International Law Moot Court team and participated in Notre Dame’s London Law Program.