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U.S. Supreme Court Stays Enforcement of OSHA Vaccine/Testing Mandate

February 15th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

In a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has halted efforts by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to require that companies with 100 or more employees ensure their employees are vaccinated against COVID or submit to weekly testing.

After cutting through all the legal jargon, the substance of the Supreme Court decision is that the OSHA mandate is effectively dead because the Court ruled that OSHA does not have authority from Congress to impose such a broad public health requirement on employers.

Importantly, this decision does not affect the COVID vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors. That mandate was established under the federal procurement laws, a separate statutory scheme than the one underlying the OSHA mandate. But the contractor mandate has also been stayed by the lower federal courts and is not currently in effect. Those court challenges are making their way through the appellate process.

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