OSHA Vax Mandate Struck Down By U.S. Supreme Court

On Jan. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden Administration’s OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers with more than 100 employees, preventing implementation of a policy which would have forced many employers to either mandate vaccination or face large fines.

In the 6-3 decision, the court’s majority found that the administration did not possess the legal authority to impose a sweeping workplace vaccine mandate. However, in a separate 5-4 decision, the court upheld a vaccine mandate for certain healthcare workers.

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Last Friday, the justices heard nearly four hours of oral arguments on both policies before arriving at their decision.

NUCA members who had over 100 employees were facing OSHA enforcement of this mandate beginning Feb. 10. NUCA had argued in our replies to OSHA that while we supported voluntary vaccines for employees, we did not support a government mandate requiring them. We believe these mandates were not needed to ensure a safe workplace in our industry. It is heartening to read that the highest court in the nation agreed with NUCA’s arguments.

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Employers are now released from their obligation to meet any part of OSHA’s vaccine ETS, issued on Nov. 5, 2021. Please check with your state authorities for their own requirements, as this decision only affects the federal mandate.

NUCA’s vaccine mandate webpage (nuca.com/vaxmandate) contains the latest information about this news and the former OSHA ETS standard. We will post more information on this page–including any new OSHA guidance–as soon as we acquire it.

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Thank you for your continued support of NUCA and promoting a safe working environment for our industry’s employees.