2022 Legal Update: Employers are not required to comply with the OSHA ETS vaccination and testing mandate at this time.
OSHA ETS Vaccination and Testing Mandate
Attn: Private employers with 100 or more employees are affected
Last week, on Jan. 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled to stay the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS).
The emergency temporary standard covers employers with 100 or more employees – firm or company-wide – and provides options for compliance.
2022 January Update: Employers are not required to comply with the OSHA ETS vaccination and testing mandate at this time.
The Dates: The ETS went into effect and has been in litigation since Nov. 5, 2021. It was blocked by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals early on but was reinstated by the 6th Circuit on Dec. 17, 2021.
Impact on Employers: Because this case has been sent back to the 6th Circuit, employers will need to continue monitoring legal developments to learn about a final decision on the emergency temporary standard.
Supreme Court of the United States Reasoning: In its published decision, SCOTUS stated that OSHA was not given the power to regulate public health more broadly than occupational dangers. In addition, SCOTUS explained that challenges to the ETS were likely to succeed on the merits because the agency lacks the authority to impose the mandate. Specifically, the OSH Act only allows the agency to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.
Finally, the court argues that the requirement that employees either become vaccinated or undergo weekly testing is not an exercise of federal power. Instead, SCOTUS stated the ETS represents a “significant encroachment into the lives—and health—of a vast number of employees.”
What you can do:
As we all move forward, employee communication is a top priority. As an employer, you can keep everyone informed of what is happening and how this affects them. It is always a good practice, to share this information and any future information with your employees even if there are no changes or updates happening internally to the company policies.
Now is the time to review your Employee Benefits package to make sure that you do not have any gaps, everyone is taking care of and knows how to use their benefits properly. We, at BenePro, can help you find solutions that will help you retain your employees with room to put money back into your business.
Reach out to us for updates and industry insights surrounding Benefit Advisory Services, HR and Benefit Administration, COBRA, and Flexible Spending Account administration or to join BenePro Health Care Coalition.
This post is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. If you are looking for help in Group Benefits, Employee Education, Innovative Cost Cutting Solutions, Group Insurance, Predictive Modeling, Telemedicine, Assistance Programs, Wellness Plans, and Health Coaching, Ensure Compliance, Educational Resources and Tools, Wrap Documents, BenePro Support, BeneCard, or how these types of changes affect your workplace dynamics – contact BenePro today, located in Metro Detroit, Michigan! Partner with the People Pros today!