The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a review of legal challenges to OSHA’s vaccine and testing emergency testing standard (OSHA ETS) as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Omnibus Covid-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination rule (CMS Vaccine Mandate). Arguments are scheduled for January 7, 2022.
In the meantime, OSHA has agreed that they will not enforce compliance for the OSHA ETS before January 10, 2022 or enforce testing requirements before the 9th. As for the CMS mandate, in November, a Louisiana federal court issued an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the Rule nationwide, prompting CMS to pause enforcement. However, in December, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion partially upholding and partially reversing the injunction so that the CMS rule only enjoins (applies to) 25 states, leaving the remaining 25 states and U.S. territories subject to enforcement.
So, as it stands today, the CMS Vaccine Mandate will begin enforcing the Covid-19 vaccine mandate in the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Compliance is expected by January 27, 2022 for phase 1 (1st shot) and a deadline of February 28 for the second dose (if applicable). The states not listed await a decision by the Supreme Court.
It is unknown whether the Court will issue a prompt ruling, however the expedited scheduling suggests that the Court may soon provide employers and employees with a final answer concerning the vaccine mandates. More information to follow. If you reside in the Quad Cities area and have an employment law issue related to religious or other exemptions related to the mandates, or have another employment law issue such as employment discrimination, sexual harassment, or wrongful termination, contact the Davenport employment law attorneys of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for immediate assistance today at 563-355-6478.