Supreme Court Issues Rulings on OSHA and CMS Vaccine Requirements


On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued separate rulings on a case involving regulations that implemented COVID-19 vaccination requirements for employees of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) direct surveyed facilities and a second case that required all employees of large employers (100 or more employees) to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing (OSHA requirement).

The Supreme Court ruled that CMS may move forward with implementation of its COVID-19 vaccine requirements in the 24 states where lower courts had issued injunctions that would have prevented enforcement of the regulation. The states subject to the Supreme Court ruling include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.  All other states were not part of the lower court injunctions and are therefore also subject to the CMS vaccine requirements.

As AOPA previously reported, AOPA members are not directly impacted by the CMS requirement as they are not surveyed by CMS.  That being said, facilities that are included in the CMS vaccine requirement (e.g. hospitals, nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities, etc.) are obligated to ensure compliance with vaccine requirements for not only their direct employees but also any vendors that have access to their facility.  This may include O&P providers and manufacturers.

In the second case, the Supreme Court upheld the federal injunction preventing implementation of COVID-19 vaccine or regular testing requirements for employers with 100 or more employees.  This requirement would have been implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This means employers with over 100 employees will not be required to implement vaccine or testing requirements.

A third vaccine requirement that impacts federal contractors continues to move through the court system and is currently under a federal injunction that prevents its enforcement.

AOPA will continue to monitor developments on vaccine requirements that may impact AOPA members and provide guidance as developments occur.

Questions regarding the recent Supreme Court rulings may be directed to Joe McTernan at jmcternan@aopanet.org or Devon Bernard at dbernard@aopanet.org.