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7. Supreme Court blocked COVID vaccine mandate

Posted On: Dec. 28, 2022 6:33 AM CST

Supreme Court

Attempts to compel workers to have COVID-19 vaccinations have caused controversy since shortly after the vaccines became available two years ago, and inevitably courts have had to rule on the issue.

In perhaps the most high-profile ruling, in January the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a Biden administration rule that employers with at least 100 employees require workers to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

The story about the Supreme Court’s decision was the seventh-most-read workers compensation-related story on Business Insurance’s website in 2022. 

The mandate was released by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in November 2021, prompting a string of lawsuits from various groups and employers that said OSHA had overstepped its powers.

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, OSHA withdrew the vaccination requirement for large employers.

The ruling shifted decisions on workplace vaccination rules back to employers, who made starkly different choices.

Narrower vaccine mandates, though, did pass muster with the courts. While rejecting the large employer mandate, the high court allowed vaccination requirements for health care workers.

And later in the year, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a bid to prevent New York City from enforcing its vaccine mandate for municipal workers.

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