Jan. 4,  2022

Judges to Consider Requirements Days Ahead of OSHA Enforcement

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the Biden administration’s controversial vaccine mandate on Friday, Jan. 7.

The mandate, if upheld, would force companies with 100 or more employees to adopt written policies requiring employees to either be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a facemask at work. In early November, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its emergency temporary standard (ETS) rules guiding employers on how to comply with the mandate. The rules were immediately challenged in court by various organizations, government bodies and trade groups, including the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. Since then, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed a stay on the mandate only for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate it a few weeks later.

OSHA plans to begin issuing citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS on Jan. 10 and for noncompliance with testing requirements on Feb. 9. The deadline has created urgency in the court system to resolve the legality of the vaccine mandate, prompting the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue.