The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Friday that the Biden Administration could proceed with its COVID-19 vaccine or testing requirement for employers with 100 or more employees. This proposal, first promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in early November, had been enjoined by an earlier court decision. Plaintiffs have already appealed last week’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The mandate is scheduled to take effect Jan. 4, 2022, though OSHA announced this past weekend that it would not issue citations before Jan. 10 in order to give employers additional time to develop and implement policies. OSHA issued this proposal as an Emergency Temporary Standard, which expedites implementation and allows the agency to forgo the standard public comment period.
The ETS was issued as part of a series of Biden administration vaccine mandates, including one for federal contractors and another focused on the healthcare industry. Both of these additional mandates were similarly challenged in court and stayed, though a decision last week may allow the healthcare rule proceed in roughly half of the states, including Pennsylvania.
The Associated Press outlines what the ruling means for businesses.