The Supreme Court issued two orders on Jan. 13, with broad implications for employers dealing with COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace. The first order stayed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Stay (ETS) Vaccine-or-Test mandate, while the second order allowed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement mandatory vaccines for all employees of federally funded health care facilities. Noticeably absent was any decision on the federal contractor vaccine mandate, which is currently stayed. Regardless, since neither Supreme Court decision is final, expect months of litigation on these issues to ensue.

OSHA’s ETS Vaccine-or-Test Mandate is Stayed

The first case dealt with the OSHA’s ETS, which famously mandated individuals to be fully vaccinated – or test at least weekly and wear a mask — for companies with 100 or more employees. When the ETS was first issued, companies scrambled to purchase tests or find sources to provide on-site testing. At the same time, many lawsuits were filed resulting in a stay of the ETS.

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