In a rare move, the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled an emergency oral-arguments hearing on Friday, January 7 for the OSHA employer workplace vaccine mandate and the health-care-worker mandate. The Court typically only accepts written briefs in place of oral arguments in emergency cases but accepted to hear from attorneys.

In December 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court lifted an emergency stay that was preventing OSHA from implementing the vaccine mandate on employers with 100 or more employees. With the stay now lifted and to provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance, OSHA said that it will not issue citations for noncompliance with the vaccination mandate before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements prior to February 9 “so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.”

The upcoming OSHA deadlines could lead to a quick decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming weeks following the January 7 hearing. The Court is considering two questions: the likelihood of a party succeeding in blocking the mandate in court were a case to proceed and whether the parties involved will be “irreparably injured” by the mandate along with where “public interest” lies. In the interim, labor lawyers generally are advising businesses with 100 employees or more to begin building a compliance system internally.