Late last week, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on the OSHA rule requiring covered employers to ensure workers have received the COVID vaccine or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Employers with at least 100 employees will need to determine the COVID-19 vaccination status of their employees and develop a written vaccine-or-testing policy under the OSHA rule.
To give employers time to comply, OSHA will not enforce any requirements under its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) until Jan. 10. Additionally, the agency "will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard's testing requirements before Feb. 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good-faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard," according to an OSHA update.
The U.S. Supreme Court could decide to block this directive again.
Also last week, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a nationwide injunction put into place on Nov. 30, ruling that the injunction halting enforcement of the CMS vaccine mandate nationwide should apply only to the 14 states involved in that lawsuit. Eleven other states had previously challenged the CMS Rule in separate actions.
The end result is that the CMS vaccine mandate remains in place in the 14 states who were parties to the original litigation: Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. The CMS vaccine mandate is also enjoined for the time being in the 10 states litigating in the District of Missouri: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
HCAOA will provide up-to-the-minute updates as they become available. Click here for an updated memo from Polsinelli with the latest information about the mandates.