OSHA ETS Stayed by Supreme Court

On January 13, the Supreme Court stayed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, halting implementation of the rule nationwide.

The  6-3 decision temporarily stays the rule pending the outcome of a decision on the merits by the Sixth Circuit and any subsequent petition for review of that decision to the Supreme Court. In issuing the stay, however, the Court’s majority said it does not believe OSHA has the authority to issue the standard, so it is hard to see a path forward where OSHA gets this rule reinstated.

As the majority explained in its decision, “Although COVID– 19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most… Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.”