Supreme Court Blocks OSHA COVID-19 ETS

On Thursday, January 13th, the United States Supreme Court struck down the OSHA Vaccine & Testing ETS requirement for employers with 100 or more employees.

The court’s conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.

“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here,” the conservatives wrote in an unsigned opinion.

The Supreme Court’s decision is not definitively the final word on the OSHA ETS. In its ruling, the Court directed the Sixth Circuit to consider the substantive validity of the ETS. Enforcement of the ETS is stayed pending that review, and a final review could end up before the Supreme Court again down the road. OSHA could also pursue other avenues for implementing COVID-19 testing and masking requirements.

While the Court’s ruling blocks the ETS, employers could also still be required to implement COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements at their state and local levels. While employers should proceed with caution, the Supreme Court’s ruling makes it highly unlikely that the ETS will be enforced.

The ABMA will continue to monitor all developments with the OSHA ETS moving forward.

To read the Supreme Court’s decision or our ABMA press release on the decision, please click the buttons below.