OSHA Vaccine Mandate Temporarily Suspended

As previously reported by HCP, last week the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for America’s workforce.

As a result of several states filing motions against the requirements, yesterday, November 7, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted an emergency motion to stay enforcement of the vaccine or test mandate outlined by the ETS.

The temporary injunction stated that the filed petitions “give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate”. Thus, OSHA may not enforce the ETS mandates pending expedited judicial review.

It is not clear yet whether the temporary stay applies to all states equally, or only to states with pending legal action. However, since the first deadline for action on the mandate for businesses is not until December 5, 2021, there is no immediate effect of this stay on enforcement.

Additionally, HCP reminds members that they remain bound by New York State’s vaccine mandate as it applies to health care workers, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) vaccine mandate which became effective Friday, November 5, 2021 (see below).

The applicability of these vaccine mandates to New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program is still being reviewed and analyzed. It is believed the OSHA ETS will apply to CDPAP businesses with 100 or more workers.

Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said the US Department of Labor is “confident in its legal authority” to issue the OSHA vaccine rule. She added that the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 “explicitly gives OSHA the authority to act quickly in an emergency” and the Department is “fully prepared to defend [the ETS] in court.”

The US government was ordered by the court to respond to the motion by 5:00 pm today, Monday, November 8, 2021. The petitioners must respond to the government’s comments by 5:00 pm on November 9, 2021.

HCP will keep you updated as news becomes available.

 

CMS Webinar Materials Now Available

As reported in Friday’s HCP Insider, CMS held a webinar last week to outline implementation of the COVID-19 Omnibus Vaccine Rule (IFC-6) for Medicare and Medicaid providers.

The recorded CMS presentation is now available on YouTube.

To view only the presentation slides, click here.

Additionally, CMS has created a lengthy FAQ document to outline the rule which took effect on November 5, 2021.

CMS will hold another stakeholder call on the vaccine mandate on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. The hour-long session begins at 3:30 pm and registration in advance is recommended. The session has a limit of 10,000 participants, so click here to register now.

As always, your HCP Public Policy team will provide details of the webinar to our members who may be unable to attend. Watch for a summary in this week’s HCP Insider.