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Idaho law professor: OSHA large employer vaccine mandate “dead in the water” following SCOTUS decision

Two of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates are left in vastly different states following a split decision by the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 4:18 PM MST
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Washington, D.C. (KMVT/KSVT) — Two of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates are left in vastly different states following a split decision by the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday.

The two mandates in question were the OSHA large employer vaccine mandate — which requires vaccination or weekly testing for those working at businesses with 100 or more employees — and a separate mandate impacting healthcare workers at facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding.

While the healthcare worker mandate is allowed to move forward, a stay was reissued for the large employer vaccine mandate.

Richard Seamon, J.D. — a professor at the University of Idaho College of Law — said the decision leaves the OSHA large employer vaccine mandate essentially “dead in the water.”

“Its name is important. It stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),” Seamon said. “What the court said today was that ‘occupational’ means that this agency is limited to regulating against occupational hazards, hazards that you find in the workplace.”

He added Medicare and Medicaid Services, on the other hand, is an agency that is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of their patients, which is why the healthcare worker vaccine mandate was allowed to move forward.

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