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On January 13, the Supreme Court ruled against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) requirement for large employers, finding that the Biden administration did not have the authority to require businesses to either mandate vaccinations or test workers for COVID-19.

The ETS would have required employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that employees are fully vaccinated or regularly tested and wearing face coverings at work, with exceptions for workers with religious objections.

The ruling does not affect the authority of states, local governments, and private businesses from adopting vaccine and testing mandates. Employers, including colleges and universities, may make those policy decisions based on their own circumstances and local directives.  

While the Court blocked the OSHA ETS, it upheld the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule pertaining to staff working for Medicare-or Medicaid-certified healthcare providers.

The vaccine requirements for federal contractors were not addressed in this ruling and are still being litigated.


Mary Bachinger

Director, Tax Policy


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