U.S. Supreme Court Hears Challenges to OSHA’s Vaccine Mandates – What Employers Need to Know
Carol Goodman, co-chair of Herrick's Litigation Department and chair of the firm's Employment Practice, was a featured guest on SiriusXM's Wharton Business Daily podcast hosted by Dan Loney.
In this episode, Carol discussed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on employee vaccinations/testing. While the U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering whether the ETS will be blocked, the ETS nevertheless remains in effect as of January 10, 2021. Carol shared insights on what companies are doing despite the uncertainty at the Federal level.
"The timing of all of this has really put companies in a precarious position," Carol said. "An employer needs to decide whether to wait for a Court ruling and run the risk of violating OSHA, or implement an ETS policy that the Court may strike down," she added.
When asked what companies are doing, Carol noted, "Some are waiting to see whether the Federal mandates are upheld, some (outside of New York City) are simply choosing the testing option. In this way, companies can avoid mandating vaccines before the Court rules on the validity."
But some localities and states have already mandated vaccination policies, Carol added. "New York City implemented a mandatory vaccine policy on December 27. Meaning, if you are in New York City, the ETS testing option won’t apply. With some exceptions, employees have to get vaccinated to enter the workplace."