On December 14, 2021, Nick Reiter was quoted in HR Dive on the compliance twists and turns of 2021, including the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard on mandating employer vaccination requirements. According to the article, the mandate, issued on November 5, quickly met challenges: the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the standard on November 6, and OSHA swiftly filed a motion to dissolve the stay.
As OSHA's mandate languishes in court, many employers wonder how they should proceed, Reiter told HR Dive. "A year ago, employers were wondering whether they should require the vaccine," Reiter said. And the question has grown more complex over the last year. Many employers pushed the question aside until they can see how the OSHA mandate fares in court, Reiter said. Others have turned to local mandates for direction.
Some employers turned their gaze backward. "I think a lot of employers are saying, 'OK, well, whatever decision we made, is it working? Is it good for us?'" Reiter said.
The answer to that question — and an employer's next steps — likely lies in the ratio of vaccinated staff to unvaccinated staff. "If you're an employer with a largely vaccinated workforce, the decision ahead of you is a lot easier," Reiter said. "But if you're an employer that can't get people to apply because of a vaccine mandate — those are employers that face a different decision."
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