SCOTUS Block on OSHA’s Emergency Temporary StandardInsights
January 20, 2022
Two Giants in A Tug-Of-War
We all saw it coming. As soon as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing, the pushback has caused an uproar in both private and public sectors.
Because of all the suits filed since the mandate, the Supreme Court had to decide on the parameters and merits of declaring an ETS. With “27 states aligned against the federal government,” and a six to three vote, the court (and dissenting liberal judges) gave its decision on January 13, 2022. On the one hand, the Supreme Court determined that OSHA “overreached its authority to protect the health of workers in large private companies,” but on the other hand, still chose to promote the ETS vaccine and testing directive for the majority of healthcare professionals.
Despite the U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh’s statement: “I am disappointed in the court’s decision, which is a major setback to the health and safety of workers across the country,” the Supreme Court did not deem the U.S. Workforce in “grave danger.” Without even invoking the Constitution, the three Supreme Court justices, Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett stated:
“Although COVID-19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces it is not an occupational hazard in most … no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face … from any number of communicable diseases … OSHA’s indiscriminate approach … takes on the character of a general public health measure, rather than an occupational safety or health standard.”
Does this mean employers should relax on workplace health and safety protocols? Of course not! This just means that all employers can discern which convention best suits their company and utilize their own strategic healthcare measures for their employees. All in all, mandate or not, if we have to face COVID-19 in the long term, INDICAID Rapid Antigen Test is here to stay. Because it solves so many pandemic-related problems, with the product in our shelves, it can still be the “greatest thing since sliced bread.”