OSHA’s Vaccine Mandate Blocked By Supreme Court
January 14, 2022
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requiring larger employers to adopt mandatory vaccination policies. The Court ruled that OSHA does not have the authority to establish a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The Court did not rule against vaccination policies in general, and employers are free to voluntarily adopt such policies. Instead, the Court simply found that OSHA’s powers are limited to setting “workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.”
OSHA is permitted, of course, to continue addressing risks related to COVID-19 in the workplace. The agency disagreed with the Court’s ruling and stated that it will “do everything in its existing authority to hold businesses accountable for protecting workers, including under the Covid-19 National Emphasis Program and General Duty Clause.” President Biden, who called the ETS “a very modest burden” on employers, stated: “it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees . . . . I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up – including one third of Fortune 100 companies – and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers, and communities.”
Despite the rhetoric, Nevada’s larger employers can now stand down. While the legal case will continue a little longer, it is reasonable for Nevada’s employers to put aside OSHA’s ETS and focus on COVID-19 policies and procedures that make sense for your employees.
KZA attorneys are available to answer your questions.
KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.