• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
    Rules and Regulations
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 230 (Friday, December 3, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 68560]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-26268]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1926, and 1928

[Docket No. OSHA-2021-0007]
RIN 1218-AD42

COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 
Department of Labor.

ACTION: Interim final rule; extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: The period for submitting public comments is being extended by 
45 days to allow stakeholders interested in the COVID-19 vaccination 
and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) additional time to 
review the ETS and collect information and data necessary for comment.

DATES: The comment period for the interim final rule on the ETS, which 
was published November 5, 2021 at 86 FR 6140, and effective on November 
5, 2021, is extended. Comments on any aspect of the ETS and whether the 
ETS should be adopted as a permanent standard must be submitted by 
January 19, 2022.

    Written comments: You may submit comments and attachments, 
identified by Docket No. OSHA-2021-0007, electronically at 
www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Follow 
the online instructions for making electronic submissions. The Federal 
e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov is the only way to submit 
comments on this rule.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency's name and 
the docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-2021-0007). All 
comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in 
the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about 
submitting information they do not want made available to the public or 
submitting materials that contain personal information (either about 
themselves or others), such as Social Security Numbers and birthdates.
    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the 
docket, go to Docket No. OSHA-2021-0007 at www.regulations.gov. All 
comments and submissions are listed in the www.regulations.gov index; 
however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly 
available to read or download through that website. All comments and 
submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for 
inspection through the OSHA Docket Office. Documents submitted to the 
docket by OSHA or stakeholders are assigned document identification 
numbers (Document ID) for easy identification and retrieval. The full 
Document ID is the docket number (OSHA-2021-0007) plus a unique four-
digit or five-digit code (e.g., OSHA-2021-0007-0001). When citing 
materials in the docket, OSHA includes the term ``Document ID'' 
followed by the last four or five digits of the Document ID number 
(e.g., Document ID 0001). Document ID numbers are used to identify 
docket materials in this notice. However, OSHA identified supporting 
information in the ETS (86 FR 61402) by author name and publication 
year, when appropriate. The agency has also provided a spreadsheet in 
the docket that identifies the full Document ID for each reference 
cited in the ETS (see Document ID 0493). This information can be used 
to search for a supporting document in the docket at 
www.regulations.gov. Contact the OSHA Docket Office at 202-693-2350 
(TTY number: 877-889-5627) for assistance with locating docket 

    General information and press inquiries: Contact Frank Meilinger, 
Director, Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Labor; telephone 
(202) 693-1999; email OSHAComms@dol.gov.
    For technical inquiries: Contact Andrew Levinson, Directorate of 
Standards and Guidance, U.S. Department of Labor; telephone (202) 693-
1950; email ETS@dol.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 5, 2021, OSHA issued an ETS to 
protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more 
employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 by strongly 
encouraging vaccination. Covered employers must develop, implement, and 
enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for 
employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to either get 
vaccinated or elect to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face 
covering at work in lieu of vaccination.
    The public comment period for the ETS was to close on December 6, 
2021. However, OSHA received requests from several stakeholders to 
extend the comment period. Most requested an additional 60 days, which 
would result in a new comment deadline of February 4, 2022 (see, e.g., 
Document ID 0503; 0525; 0574; 0575; 0576; 0577; 0578). These 
stakeholders explained that they need additional time to thoroughly 
review the ETS, gather input from members, and prepare comprehensive 
comments (see, e.g., Document ID 0503; 0525; 0574; 0575; 0576; 0577; 
    OSHA agrees to an extension and believes a 45-day extension of the 
public comment period is sufficient and strikes an appropriate balance 
between the agency's need for timely input and stakeholders' requests 
for additional time to prepare comprehensive comments. Therefore, the 
public comment period will be extended until January 19, 2022.

Authority and Signature

    Douglas L. Parker, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational 
Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue 
NW, Washington, DC 20210, authorized the preparation of this document 
pursuant to the following authorities: Sections 4, 6, and 8 of the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657); 
Secretary of Labor's Order 8-2020 (85 FR 58393 (Sept. 18, 2020)); 29 
CFR part 1911; and 5 U.S.C. 553.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on November 29, 2021.
Douglas L. Parker,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2021-26268 Filed 12-2-21; 8:45 am]