Supreme Court Stays OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Requirements

Person holding Covid 19 Vaccination card

By Rose Oswald Poels

On Thursday January 13, the Supreme Court blocked enforcement of an OSHA requirement that employees of certain businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job. Simultaneously, the Court has allowed a vaccine mandate for most health care workers. Links to the Court’s opinions in both matters are included below.

The Court disagreed with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recent decision lifting the previous stay of OSHA’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate emergency temporary standard (ETS). In its decision staying the ETS, the Court found that OSHA’s mandate exceeded its authority, stating that “OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here.”

While the Court’s opinion stays OSHA’s vaccine mandate, employers including banks are still required to follow any local mask mandates.

NFIB v. OSHA: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/21a244_hgci.pdf

Biden v. Missouri: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/21a240_d18e.pdf