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U.S. Supreme Court Blocks OSHA ETS

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| Legal Advisory

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the November 4, 2021 Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). OSHA’s ETS had provided, among other requirements, that employers with 100 or more employees would have to ensure their employees are vaccinated or, if unvaccinated, that they wear protective face coverings and take weekly COVID-19 tests.

Following the stay, and until further action by the U.S. Supreme Court on the merits of the case, employers will no longer be required to comply with the ETS (despite the fact that many employers have been in compliance since the ETS took effect on January 10). Employers continue to have the right to develop and implement their own policies governing employee vaccination and masking, so long as those policies comply with relevant federal and state laws. Many employers have implemented vaccine mandates, but now they are not required to do so by federal law.

The Supreme Court separately today upheld a federal mandate as to health care workers at facilities that receive federal funding. As a result, employers subject to that rule still will have to abide by those standards.

We will provide additional updates as associated litigation and rulemaking develops. For additional background, please see our advisory, U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Challenge to OSHA’s ETS.

This advisory was prepared by Nutter’s Labor, Employment and Benefits practice group. For more information, please contact any member of the LEB group or your Nutter attorney at 617.439.2000.

This advisory is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. Under the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered as advertising.

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