Minnesota has published an update to the state’s OSHA ETS regarding vaccination and masking for large employers. The update is in response to recent court decisions tied to the federal requirements that were issued November 5, 2021.
Minnesota OSHA published the determination in the Minnesota State Register on January 3, 2022, indicating the state’s intention to follow all guidelines of the federal OSHA ETS. The state’s previous ETS was set to expire on January 19, 2022, and indicated that employers following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for isolation and quarantine will be considered compliant with the state’s ETS. The updated standard mirrors the federal ETS by including an initial compliance date of January 10 for employers to have a policy in place, communicate company policy, provide required information to employees, and know which are fully vaccinated. Also reflective of the federal ETS, the February 9 deadline has been indicated as the date for companies to begin testing all unvaccinated employees who are not working completely remote. Citations for noncompliance will not be issued to companies that are making a “good faith effort” to implement the emergency standards, in accordance with the federal ETS.
MNOSHA indicated the decision was made to mirror the federal ETS in order to account for any uncertainty created by the stay. Future decisions on the enforcement of the state ETS will be based on OSHA’s timeline and the Supreme Court’s pending decision.