Insights 11/19/21

Dear Client,

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday struck down the Biden Administration’s OSHA-based vaccine mandate for employers of 100 or more employees.  The majority ruled that OSHA had exceeded its authority when it issued the vaccine mandate, concluding that OSHA has authority only “to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.”  This decision from the Supreme Court stays (i.e., puts on hold) implementation of the OSHA mandate, pending further review by those lower courts. But, given the 6-3 decision, it would be unreasonable to think that the Supreme Court would change its position following a lower court’s review.

However, in a separate decision, also issued yesterday, the Court dissolved a lower court stay of the healthcare industry vaccine mandate issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (the “CMS”).  This mandate applies to employees who work in nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments from the federal government and that are certified by the CMS.  Recall that if your healthcare facility is not certified by the CMS (i.e., is not subject to CMS’s health and safety regulations), then the CMS vaccine mandate does not apply to your facility.

Well, there you have it, at least for now.  As always, we’ll keep you posted if anything changes.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance.