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Legislative Updates

Supreme Court to Consider Vaccine Mandate

219th Legislative Session COVID-19 Legislative Updates Health Issues Updates Legislative Updates

In September, President Biden announced a sweeping and vague federal vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees ordering the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue regulations on requirements and enforcement. In November, OSHA issued their emergency temporary standard (ETS) for employers, which was quickly halted by several lawsuits brought by various states.


In response, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an injunction halting enforcement of the ETS. The petitions by various states were consolidated into one, which was assigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. However, on December 17, the Sixth Circuit dissolved the stay finding that, “based on the substantial evidence referenced and relied upon by OSHA, there is little likelihood of success for the challenges against OSHA’s bases for issuing the ETS.” Shortly after this decision, several petitions were made to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.


Given the decision by the Sixth Circuit, the ETS is currently back in effect for the time being. OSHA has extended the compliance deadlines for employers, who now have until January 10, 2022 to enact policies and collect proof of vaccinations and until February 9, 2022 to ensure unvaccinated employees are complying with the testing requirement. 

However, OSHA noted that it will not issue citations for noncompliance, “so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.”


The CCSNJ will keep you apprised of any further developments as they occur.

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Hilary Chebra

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