OSHA Withdraws COVID Vaccine Regulations Following Supreme Court Defeat

By Bill Galluccio

January 25, 2022

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Photo: Getty Images

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it is officially rescinding rules requiring companies with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo routine testing.

The regulation was struck down by the Supreme Court, which ruled that the agency lacked the authority to enact public health measures. However, the Court did rule in favor of a similar mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services because that rule was tied to Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The decision to withdraw the rule puts an end to an outstanding legal challenge to the mandate, which was scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.

OSHA is still hoping to enact the rule through its official rule-making process. In the meantime, the agency said it will shift its focus to creating permanent safety standards for healthcare workers after temporary standards implemented over the summer expired in December.

"Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule. The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard," the agency said in a statement.

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