The U.S. Supreme Court today blocked the Biden Administration from enforcing a vaccination-or-testing requirement crafted by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The court's decision stayed the OSHA ETS COVID vaccination and testing requirements for employers with 100 or more employees, pending resolution of the litigation in the 6th Circuit. 

At this time, employers with 100 or more employees DO NOT need to follow the OSHA ETS COVID vaccination and testing requirements. This means employers can continue to implement COVID safety precautions as they determine for their business, subject to any state or local requirements.

Parts of the mandate requiring record-keeping and masks had been scheduled to go into effect on Monday, with full requirements going into effect by Feb. 9.

The National Milk Producers Federation has been working with other agricultural organizations and speaking with administration officials since before the Emergency Temporary Standard was first proposed, advocating for dairy's interests and sharing its members concerns. NMPF and members of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives met with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Oct. 18, more than two weeks before the rule was released, to discuss the standard then under development. The coalition that met with OMB raised numerous concerns about the mandate while making it clear it would continue to advocate for vaccinations.

After the ETS was released, NMPF warned federal officials in letters and personal meetings that a lack of tests and other resources could create hardships for businesses already struggling with staffing shortages and that food and agriculture businesses could face severe supply chain sources under the ETS. NMPF has joined other organizations in urging that the food and agriculture sector, as an essential part of the U.S. economy, be prioritized in federal coronavirus-test distribution efforts.

Even so, as the mandate moved forward, NMPF also issued materials explaining the mandate to members and offered resources outlining the requirements and their implementation, including templates created by the government to aid with compliance, while continuing to raise concerns with the government.
What's next?
Technically, the court's ruling is a "stay," meaning enforcement of the standard is returned to the federal Sixth Circuit Court, which previously was reviewing the issue, for further consideration based on the Supreme Court's decision. Because of this, the ETS technically is not yet invalidated. However, because of the nature of the 6-3 Supreme Court ruling, a revival of the Standard in its current form is unlikely.