November 15, 2021
Bloomberg Law quoted McGuireWoods Richmond partner Rod Satterwhite in a Nov. 9, 2021, article on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers. Under the mandate, released Nov. 4 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), healthcare workers at facilities paid by Medicare and Medicare are required to be vaccinated.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a similar rule on the same day mandating COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for workers at U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.
OSHA must demonstrate that it has the authority to issue a temporary rule in light of a threat of “grave danger,” Satterwhite told Bloomberg Law. The differing regulatory schemes between the two agencies make the CMS rule “less susceptible to an overall challenge,” Satterwhite said, but the OSHA rule remains “a major hurdle.”
While the CMS rule has faced limited challenges, Satterwhite said it could spark lawsuits against employers from employees who claim their requests for accommodations were wrongfully denied.