Much of Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate takes effect

Key parts of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's vaccinate-or-test mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees took effect Jan. 10 as the Supreme Court considers challenges to the rule, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In November, OSHA issued the vaccine-or-test rule, which is expected to cover more than 80 million workers. It requires larger employers to establish a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they require workers to undergo regular testing and wear a face covering at work. There is an exception if employees don't work in close contact with others, The New York Times reported.

The Supreme Court is considering challenges to the Biden administration's authority to impose the mandate, and the court's conservative majority appeared skeptical about the rule after hearing oral arguments Jan. 7.

Since the nation's highest court did not temporarily halt the rule or strike it down as of Jan. 10, businesses must establish a procedure to ensure employees are vaccinated and monitor vaccination status, according to the Journal. The newspaper also reported that businesses must keep track of employee infections, ensure employees who test positive stay away from work, and ensure workers who aren't vaccinated wear a mask indoors.

OSHA in December announced it would not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the rule before Jan. 10 and would not issue citations for noncompliance with the rule's testing requirements before Feb. 9.

The Supreme Court is also considering CMS' vaccination mandate for eligible staff at healthcare facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The mandate requires healthcare facilities to establish a policy ensuring eligible workers are fully vaccinated, with exemptions allowed based on religious beliefs or recognized medical conditions.

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