Supreme Court Stays OSHA ETS Vaccination and Testing Mandate
Private employers with 100 or more employees are affected.
On Jan. 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled to stay the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS). The ETS was developed to establish a mandatory vaccination policy requirement for private employers with 100 or more employees.
In short: Employers are not required to comply with the OSHA ETS vaccination and testing mandate at this time.
Impact on Employers: This case has been sent back to the 6th Circuit, employers will need to continue monitoring legal developments to learn about a final decision on the emergency temporary standard.
Supreme Court of the United States Reasoning: In its published decision, SCOTUS stated that OSHA was not given the power to regulate public health more broadly than occupational dangers. In addition, SCOTUS explained that challenges to the ETS were likely to succeed on the merits because the agency lacks the authority to impose the mandate. Specifically, the OSH Act only allows the agency to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.
Finally, the court argues that the requirement that employees either become vaccinated or undergo weekly testing is not an exercise of federal power. Instead, SCOTUS stated the ETS represents a “significant encroachment into the lives—and health—of a vast number of employees.”
As we all move forward, employee communication is a top priority. As an employer, you can keep everyone informed of what is happening and how this affects them. It is always a good practice, to share this information and any future information with your employees even if there are no changes or updates happening internally to the company policies.
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This post is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. If you are looking for help in HR Consulting, HR Administration, Benefit Administration, Employee Benefits, or how these types of changes affect your workplace dynamics – contact HRPro today, located in Royal Oak, MI serving Michigan and beyond! Partner with the People Pros today!