In a follow up to recent decisions handed down in the federal courts regarding the legality of vaccine mandates affecting Federal, and OSHA covered employers, OSHA has announced that it has suspended enforcement of the mandates for large employers to require vaccinations for all employees or undergo weekly testing. The decision is based on the likelihood that the 6th circuit will follow the 5th circuit’s lead and come down against the mandate. The 5th circuit court of appeals cited “grave statutory and constitutional issues” as the reasoning behind its opposition to the mandate. As the judiciary in the 6th circuit is composed of mainly conservative judges it is highly likely that the 6th circuit will concur with the 5th circuit and find that the mandate is overreaching. The stay of the OSHA rule also calls into question the previously enacted deadline for compliance, with December 5, 2021, being the final date for businesses to decide whether to choose vaccination or weekly testing, and January 4, 2022, as the date by which the rule must be implemented.
As the rule is rapidly being adjusted and even faces the possibility of being permanently halted, it is very important for employers to keep themselves informed on the validity of law and its applicability to their workplace. Legal and regulatory consequences are not the only concern as vaccine implementation, or the alternative of mandatory weekly testing may create instances of large expenditures on the part of an employer.
If you or your H.R. department have any questions concerning how to best implement and enforce guidelines and protocols associated with these updated vaccination mandates, please do not hesitate to call us at 516-888-1208 or email Cynthia Augello at [email protected]
Thank you to Joel Thomas, JD for his assistance with this post.