Supreme Court Denies Student Request to Block University Vaccine Mandate

On August 12, the Supreme Court of the United States denied eight students’ request to block Indiana University’s requirement that students be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The students’ case, Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana University, is the first test of a COVID-19 vaccine requirement in the context of an educational institution to arrive at the Supreme Court.

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OSHA Issues Comprehensive COVID-19 Guidance Differentiating Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Employees

On June 10, 2021, OSHA updated its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace for employers in nonhealthcare settings. The guidance provides employers with a road map of key approaches for addressing COVID-19 workplace risks in a manner that is consistent with current CDC guidance, and with different standards for fully vaccinated versus unvaccinated employees.

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Issues for Higher Education Institutions to Consider When Implementing a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

As states have opened COVID-19 vaccinations to all individuals 16 and older (and are expanding to age 12 and older, based on the CDC advisory committee’s recent recommendation), institutions of higher education, like many other employers, are considering whether to encourage or possibly mandate their employees to receive a vaccination. Unlike other organizations, institutions of higher education have the added quandary of whether to encourage or mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for students in an effort to return to full in-person instruction.

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The Upcoming Firestorm Facing Employers Regarding Vaccines

With the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC and approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine expected imminently, America is seeing light at the end of the very long tunnel that has been the pandemic. Accordingly, many employers have begun to consider whether they should have a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy to protect employees and return to some normalcy in the workplace. An employer’s decision to require employee COVID-19 inoculations as a condition of workplace entry raises a number of legal, evidentiary and practical issues.

Update: On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations, including employer mandates for the vaccine. Duane Morris will cover this development in an Alert to be published soon.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.