In a 6-3 decision on Thursday, January 13, 2022 – the United States Supreme Court has stayed the enforcement of OSHA’s “vax or test” Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) applicable to private employers with 100+ employees. Private employers are no longer required to comply with the OSHA rule, pending full review by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. In making this ruling, the Supreme Court concluded that challenges to the ETS are “likely to prevail” after full hearing.
The Supreme Court also ruled on the OSHA ETS requiring vaccinations for healthcare workers and employers who receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, coming to the opposite conclusion. The Court ruled that the ETS for healthcare workers is within OSHA’s authority because it is “promote and protect patient health and safety.”
The stay of the private employer mandate, a portion of which went into effect on January 10, is likely welcome news for many employers who have been working tirelessly to enact workplace policies, gather vaccination status, and find affordable and convenient weekly testing solutions for their employees. At least for the foreseeable future, those compliance actions are no longer needed.
We anticipate OSHA will respond to these important rulings and will update this blog when a statement is issued. Please contact me, Kelly Eckman, or a member of your First Person team with any questions.