On Jan. 13, 2022, ABC applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for reinstating the stay on DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applied to employers with 100 or more employees. On behalf of the construction industry, ABC filed one of the emergency appeals to the Supreme Court leading to this successful outcome.
Thereafter, ABC submitted comments to OSHA on the ETS, stating, “It is clear to ABC, based upon the Supreme Court’s decision, that the ETS cannot be enforced in its present form and should therefore be withdrawn. Any attempt by OSHA to proceed with the ETS or to develop a new standard following notice and comment that does not satisfy the Supreme Court’s criteria will again be challenged in the courts by ABC.” ABC, as a steering committee member, also joined the Construction Industry Safety Coalition’s comment letter to OSHA.
On Jan. 26, DOL announced it was withdrawing the ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, however, the agency has left the door open to consider issuance of a new standard conforming to the Supreme Court’s ruling, following receipt of recent comments. No timetable for any such action has been set and no OSHA standard applicable to COVID-19 in construction is imminent.
ABC is pleased that the Supreme Court blocked the OSHA ETS and is proud to have played an important role in preventing OSHA from causing irreparable harm to the construction industry.
This is a big win in removing compliance hurdles for the construction industry, which is facing multiple economic challenges, including needing to attract nearly 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the demand for labor, rising materials prices and supply chain issues. ABC continues to support vaccinations and encourages members to use its COVID-19 vaccination toolkit to keep workers safe on construction jobsites.