Navigating the ever-changing COVID-19 safety rules has been a compliance nightmare for employers.
Now, hopefully, there will be some certainty for larger employers and those in the healthcare industry as the legality of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine and “vaccinate or test” mandates will finally be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
At issue are two separate orders:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which applies to employers with over 100 workers.
- The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) healthcare mandate, which is specific to the healthcare industry.
While OSHA’s ETS gives employers the option to test unvaccinated employees for COVID-19, the CMS mandate does not allow for a testing option and requires a vaccination for all covered workers.
While prior courts had issued a nationwide stay on the enforcement of the OSHA ETS, on December 17, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed course and dissolved the stay, clearing OSHA to enforce the ETS across the country.