Should OSHA have the power to mandate your bodily autonomy and privacy in a manner that will affect you both inside and outside of the workplace long after you have left your job?
On November 5, 2021, OSHA issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS), requiring private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for all employees or, in the alternative, testing and masks for those employees choosing not to vaccinate. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order to stay (stop) the ruling the following day.
The opinion of the Fifth Circuit is linked below and must be read before participating in the Discussion Board. Recall that the Fifth Circuit is the Circuit Court (Appellate Court) for Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The Fifth Circuit stated, ” the ETS exposes employers to severe financial risk if they refuse or fail to comply, and threatens to decimate their workforces (and business prospects) by forcing unwilling employees to take their shots, take their tests, or hit the road.”
All pending appeals throughout the United States were transferred to the Sixth Circuit where a 2-1 decision overturned the stay. This decision was appealed to the United States Supreme Court and on January 7, 2022, the United States Supreme heard oral arguments regarding challenges to the COVID-19 vaccine mandates. If you have the time I highly encourage each one of you to listen to the oral arguments in their entirety. It will be a landmark decision for generations to come.
If allowed to take effect, the mandate would force every private business with 100 or more employees to require proof of a negative COVID-19 test on at least a weekly basis or proof of vaccination from each worker. The decision will also affect approximately 17 million health care workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding.
The Supreme Court has made its decision. How did they rule? Read the opinion attached below and then participate in the Discussion Board.
Please discuss the following with your classmates:
Please note the following:
With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.
OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor. The administrator for OSHA is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. OSHA’s administrator answers to the Secretary of Labor, who is a member of the cabinet of the President of the United States.
The OSH Act covers most private sector employers and their workers, in addition to some public sector employers and workers in the 50 states and certain territories and jurisdictions under federal authority. Those jurisdictions include the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Wake Island, Johnston Island, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands as defined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.