On November 23, MRA hosted a second webinar addressing the vaccination mandates, titled Is the ETS a Stay or Will It Go? Understanding OSHA's Vaccination Mandate. Attorneys Christine Liu McLaughlin with Godfrey & Kahn and Sean Scullen with Quarles and Brady answered several questions about OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), as well as vaccination mandates issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for healthcare workers and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force applying to government contractors and subcontractors.
Prior to the webinar, and since, several injunctions against OSHA and the CMS have been issued. There has also been an injunction issued toward compliance with the federal contractor mandate that impacts several states. Although these injunctions temporarily halt the requirement to comply with the mandates, they do not overturn them. It is still recommended that employers continue to prepare to be compliant with the requirements. It is unknown if the current legal process will alter any of the compliance dates and it is possible that immediate compliance will be enforced if they are not overturned.
Employers should also consider labor contracts and state, local, city, or tribal laws that may alter the requirements of the mandates. For example, if the ETS does not specify how something should be handled but a state indicates that the employer is responsible, state law will prevail.
Although the attorneys responded to many questions during the webinar, there were still several unanswered questions.