Vaccine & Testing Requirements for Companies of 100 or More Employees - Initial Legal Challenges Considered

November 16, 2021

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Issues Ruling on Private-Employer Mandate


An issue IAM will continue to closely follow for members, a federal three-judge panel has placed on "pause", implementation of private company/employer (100+ employee) COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements, as issued by OSHA earlier this month. This initial decision determined the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on merit, with the panel finding the rule overly broad in scope. The panel's ruling does not impact current and forthcoming federal contractor and subcontractor rules, which will continue to be governed by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.


What's Next?


There are dozens of pending cases and review requests of OSHA's Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) filed in circuit courts throughout the country. These cases will be consolidated later this week, and randomly assigned to a single Circuit Court of Appeals (as expected, OSHA immediately appealed the Fifth Circuit Court's decision). While the forthcoming, future legal ruling will ultimately be appealed by one of the parties, that Court may decide to extend or revoke the Fifth Circuit's decision to pause implementation. The case is anticipated to reach the Supreme Court, where final determination and applicability will be made.


As litigation and court challenges unfold, IAM strongly encourages all members to review the information and timelines for outlined vaccine and testing requirements. We will continue to provide updated information, alongside any changes in requirements as known.


For more information or questions on any of the initiatives or issues highlighted, please contact Bryan Vickers (703-403-2882, with IAM's Government and Regulatory Affairs Team.