OSHA has officially withdrawn its ETS requiring employers with 100 or more employees to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace. This comes after the United States Supreme Court upheld an injunction preventing OSHA from implementing the rule until there was a determination on whether OSHA actually had the power to enforce such a rule.
Since then, OSHA has asked the courts to dismiss all pending litigation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers.
What does this really mean for workers?
OSHA cannot require private (non-healthcare) employers to implement vaccine mandate policies in the workplace; however, private employers, regardless of size, can implement vaccine mandates on their own.
As discussed in detail in our prior blogs on the vaccine mandates, under federal and state anti-discrimination laws, private employers can mandate vaccines in the workplace, except in certain situations. Exceptions to private employer mandated vaccine policies include situations where an employee cannot get vaccinated for a medical reason and/or because of a sincerely held religious belief.
Florida state law, however, goes a step further and prohibits private employers in Florida from mandating vaccines, where the policy does not provide additional exemptions from the vaccine. A prior COVID-19 infection is just one of those recognized exemptions. The full list of exemptions is available on our blog Florida Broadens Exemptions for Vaccine Mandate, available here.