The Biden administration has announced that, effective tomorrow (January 26, 2022), it is withdrawing its emergency Covid-19 vaccine-or-test mandate. However, the administration also announced that it is still considering whether to issue a Covid-19 vaccine-or-test mandate utilizing standard notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures.

On November 5, 2021, OSHA issued an emergency rule mandating that businesses with 100 or more workers either require employees to be fully vaccinated or pass weekly Covid-19 tests. The mandate’s future has been uncertain since the January 13th U.S. Supreme Court decision which said that OSHA could not enforce the standard while an appeals court considered the rule’s legality. This ruling indicated that the Supreme Court was likely to decide that the standard exceeded OSHA’s legal authority to prevent workplace health hazards.

For dealerships, the administration’s announcements mean the following:

  • for the time being, the specter of a federal Covid-19 vaccine-or-test mandate has officially ended;
  • the possibility of a new rule from OSHA imposing such a mandate remains, and dealers should continue to monitor updates on that rulemaking from NADA; and
  • dealers should review and follow their state and local Covid-19 workplace health and safety requirements, as the end of federal involvement – temporary as it may be – may spur states or localities to adopt their own mandates.

General questions on the emergency temporary standard (ETS) may be directed to [email protected].