President Biden has ordered OSHA to act by March 15 on a potential emergency temporary standard (ETS) for COVID-19 that could include a mask mandate for workplaces, confirming expectations he would seek an imminent rule as part of a sweeping pandemic plan that also aims to bolster the agency’s enforcement and guidance.
Biden on Jan. 21 directed OSHA to “consider whether any emergency temporary standards on COVID-19, including with respect to masks in the workplace, are necessary, and if such standards are determined to be necessary, issue them by March 15, 2021.”
Emergency standards can be enforced by OSHA almost immediately. IWLA members should expect OSHA enforcement by early spring.
Emergency standards have also been adopted by Virginia, California, Oregon and Michigan.