Vaccine Mandate Litigation
Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Case No.: 21-7000
Status: Awaiting Opinion/Decision
WMC Involvement: Amicus
More than 30 lawsuits were filed in November 2021 over OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) that mandated COVID-19 vaccinations or regular testing for workers at businesses with 100 or more employees. The WMC Litigation Center filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to support a lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which asked the court to block this OSHA ETS. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation subsequently conducted a lottery and selected the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to decide all of the nationwide lawsuits regarding this vaccine mandate. Our amicus brief was subsequently transferred to the Sixth Circuit for that court’s consideration.
Our amicus brief notes that Congress has not given OSHA any statutory authority to mandate vaccinations. The brief also details the devastating impact the vaccine and testing mandate would have on Wisconsin’s workforce. As the brief notes, “This case is about the scope of federal authority over private businesses.”
WMC conducted a survey in November of its members with 100 employees or more on the OSHA ETS. The survey revealed that 88 percent of respondents expect to lose a significant part of their workforce if the mandate is enacted. Of the businesses who anticipate losing employees, more than half expect to lose between 11 and 40 percent of their workforce under the OSHA ETS.
Before this nationwide litigation was consolidated in the Sixth Circuit, the Fifth Circuit issued a temporary stay of the OSHA ETS, blocking it from taking effect pending further litigation. The Sixth Circuit will decide whether to extend or eliminate the Fifth Circuit’s temporary stay.