Federal Court Issues Nationwide Stay of Vaccine Mandate

A federal appellate court on Friday issued a nationwide stay of enforcement of the emergency temporary standard that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated or test weekly for COVID-19. The stay, which was issued in response to a legal challenge to the standard filed by several governors and private entities, affirms the court’s initial stay granted a week ago.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which developed the stay at the direct of President Biden, to “take no steps to implement or enforce the [vaccine]Mandate until further court order.” Under the standard, if allowed to go forward, employees of covered firms would have until Jan. 4 to receive the vaccine or be required to produce a negative test on “at least a weekly basis.”

Challenges to the standard have been brought in at least five federal appellate courts. A random draw will be held Nov. 16 to determine which appellate court will hear the case. The Fifth Circuit’s stay is expected to remain in effect until the appellate court selected through the random draw has an opportunity to hear the case.

In light of the possibility that the standard may be permanently enjoined, banks may wish to consider carefully the resources and effort they expend at this time to develop a program in anticipation of compliance with the standard.