January 23, 2022

Volume XII, Number 23

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January 21, 2022

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January 20, 2022

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UPDATE: Supreme Court Stays OSHA Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard

On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked enforcement of the OSHA Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”). The stay prevents OSHA from enforcing the ETS while challenges to the regulations are litigated in the Sixth Circuit

The Sixth Circuit previously allowed OSHA to begin enforcing the ETS, which requires covered employers to establish, implement, and enforce written mandatory vaccination or testing policies. The divided Sixth Circuit panel found that OSHA was authorized to address “grave dangers” to workers and that the challengers did not establish a likelihood of success on the merits to support a stay. 

The Supreme Court disagreed, finding that OSHA is empowered only to set workplace safety standards, not enforce broad public health measures. The Supreme Court stay will remain in place until the litigation of challenges to the ETS is completed.

Although the ETS is not yet dead, the Supreme Court’s action makes it unlikely that the regulation will ever come into effect. President Biden issued a statement following the Supreme Court ruling in which he appeared resigned to that fact, commenting that “it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplace as safe as possible for employees. . . .”

Notably, the Supreme Court also released an opinion in which it lifted a stay on the Healthcare ETS, allowing for the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to require healthcare facilities to vaccinate their employees in order to remain eligible for Medicare and Medicaid dollars. 

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 14
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About this Author

Rodney L. Bean, Employment Litigation Attorney, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC Law Firm
Member

For more than 20 years, Rodney Bean has provided practical, no-nonsense advice to help leading employers develop and apply labor and human resources strategies that are both compliant and prudent.  He regularly counsels employers on most aspects of federal and state employment law, and has broad experience in wage and hour compliance and affirmative action planning. 

Representative Experience

  • Received no probable cause determination from Fairfax County (Virginia) Human Rights Commission in national origin discrimination claim...

304-598-8140
Ashley Faulkner Labor Employment Associate Attorney West Virginia Morgantown Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
Associate

Ashley Faulkner was drawn to practice law to make a positive impact on her hometown and state. She is a labor and employment lawyer working with clients in a variety of industries to creatively solve problems, often before litigation occurs. Ashley appreciates the human side of her practice and enjoys uncovering the “why” behind the matters she works on. She is often described as a “go-getter,” taking advantage of every opportunity to gain practical and leadership experience. Ashley strives to be known as more than a good lawyer and is often seen as a zealous advocate...

304-598-8164
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