Supreme Court blocks OSHA vaccine mandate

Date: January 14, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its emergency rule mandating that workers at large businesses with more than 100 employees get vaccinated or undergo regular testing for COVID-19.

The Court ruled 6-3 against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s employer mandate. As the Associated Industries of Massachusetts reported, the Court wrote, “Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”

Some companies have begun altering protocols and requirements for their employees in the wake of the news. General Electric Co. suspended its vaccine or test requirement, while other companies, including Citigroup, Inc., are proceeding with their planned vaccine mandates.

The North Shore Chamber of Commerce has joined with other business groups in the state in advocating for the rights of employers to make appropriate decisions for the safety and well-being of their employers and customers and opposing “one-size-fits-all” mandates that do not consider differences among businesses.