The confusion over the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employers continues as officials from the White House and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issue conflicting statements on enforcement.
The OSHA emergency temporary standard (ETS) to enforce the mandate faces legal challenges from multiple states. Despite opposition from those states and industry associations around the country, the federal government intends to move forward on health and safety argument. Officials with OSHA said they will suspend enforcement until the legal hurdles are cleared.
Those challenges are now consolidating into one case likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, said Tent Cotney, CEO of Cotney Attorneys & Consultants, in this latest Legal Insights video with WC.
Whether that happens before the critical Jan. 4 deadline for companies with 100 or more workers remains to be seen, but it would be unlikely. In this video, Cotney breaks down the key dates contractors need to know to make sure they’re not on OSHA’s ‘naughty list’ when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
“I haven’t seen anything this onerous put together in this short period of time on businesses,” Cotney said. “Until you get a definite decision, however, you should anticipate compliance.”
Cotney also highlights some proactive measures contractors can take to help mitigate any potential violations should OSHA’s stance on enforcement change. Those include creating a vaccination list of employees and crafting a voluntary vaccination policy.
“Even if it doesn’t survive legal challenges, there may be situations where it’s something that your customers are asking you for this information,” he said.
Listen to the podcast here, or watch the video above.