OSHA will try a different route to a vaccine mandate for businesses

Image of a gloved hand holding a cotton ball to a person's arm.

Enlarge (credit: OSHA)

On Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it was withdrawing its planned vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. The decision comes in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that blocked OSHA from implementing the mandate while lawsuits opposing it made their way through lower courts.

But the agency also indicated it as still working on getting the mandate implemented via a completely different, albeit slower, mechanism.

OSHA’s initial attempt to implement a vaccine mandate was done under a clause of US law that allows the agency to issue temporary emergency standards in response to “new hazards.” Reasoning that SARS-CoV-2 represents a new hazard, the emergency standard would require vaccination or testing and apply to companies with 100 or more employees, provided those employees were not consistently working outdoors.

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