December 23, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments on OSHA and CMS Vaccine Mandates

The United States Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for January 7, 2022, on the vaccine mandate rules adopted by both OSHA and the Center for Medicare Services (“CMS”).  The OSHA mandate applied to employers with more than 100 employees.  The CMS mandate applied to Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers, their employees and contractors.  The two vaccine mandates have been challenged in numerous separate cases which have worked their way through the lower courts over the last two months.  The Supreme Court arguments will be limited to the Plaintiff’s requests for injunctions against implementation or enforcement of the two mandates while the cases work their way through the lower courts on the merits.

CMS is currently enjoined by the lower courts from implementing or enforcing its mandate in 24 states which were plaintiffs in two of the civil actions.  CMS indicated it would not take further action while the injunctions were in place.

The OSHA vaccine mandate was reinstated by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit on December 17, 2021.  OSHA has advised that it will begin enforcing compliance with any of the rule’s requirements before January 10, 2022.  Further, OSHA will not enforce the rule’s testing requirements before February 9, 2022, so long as an employer is making a good faith effort to come into compliance.

It is anticipated that the Supreme Court will act quickly following oral arguments to provide some certainty to employers to whom the mandates apply.

If you are an Employer and have questions and need assistance, please contact the lawyers at Cummins, Goodman, Denley & Vickers at (503) 476-8200.

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