The United States Supreme Court issued highly anticipated rulings today on the large employer (OSHA) and healthcare (CMS) vaccine mandates put forth by the Biden administration.
While neither ruling is final – both were procedurally interim rulings regarding previously imposed stays – both are almost certainly indicative of how the Court will ultimately rule.
Concerning the large employer mandate, a 6-3 majority ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) exceeded its authority. The Court stated, “[a]lthough Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”
The Court’s analysis of the healthcare mandate, while similarly focused on whether the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had the authority to impose such a requirement, resulted in a 5-4 decision that the nature and scope of that agency’s authority allow the Secretary to require employees in covered facilities to be vaccinated.
We will continue to follow these cases as they progress toward a final resolution, as well as the federal contractor mandate, which remains on hold pending review by the Eleventh Circuit.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out with any specific questions or concerns.
Christine Nentwig [email protected] (717) 718-3956.
Christine is Chair of the Employment Law Group at CGA Law Firm, and has more than 25 years of experience providing labor and employment guidance to clients in both the private and public sectors.
Christine earned her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law and her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management – she is also an adjunct professor at York College of Pennsylvania, teaching Employment Law and Labor Relations.