OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Blocked, but CMS Interim Final Rule Allowed to Proceed Nationwide

Legislation | January 14, 2022 | by Cory Kallheim

The US Supreme Court issued decisions today on the legal challenges to the OSHA Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) and the CMS Interim Final Rule (IFR).

OSHA ETS Blocked

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court granted a stay of the OSHA ETS, which prohibits OSHA from enforcing the ETS pending further legal proceedings in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Court found that OSHA overstepped its authority in issuing such a broad ETS.

Because the case will take time to make it through the judicial process and the OSHA ETS only lasts six months, it will likely not be enforced in its current form as it will expire before it makes it way back to the Supreme Court.

We will monitor how OSHA responds to this decision and how they plan to proceed.

CMS IFR May Proceed Nationwide

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court stayed the injunctions that were in place in the Louisiana and Missouri cases that challenged the CMS IFR. Now CMS can move forward and enforce the IFR nationwide while the legal challenges make their way through the Fifth (Louisiana case) and Eighth (Missouri case) Circuit Court of Appeals, respectively.

The majority found that the CMS IFR fit within the authority granted to the Secretary of HHS by Congress. We anticipate CMS will update its recent guidance and move forward with efforts to enforce the IFR nationwide as the cases work their way through the lower courts.