The recent Supreme Court ruling has resulted in a change to the federal COVID vaccine mandates. While more litigation continues to work its way through US district courts, the Supreme court struck down one type of federal vaccine mandate and upheld another.

With the ruling, here is the current status of vaccination mandates as of February 3, 2021.


Federal Vaccine Mandates

There are four federal vaccine mandates issued by the federal government, either through its agencies or by Executive Order.

OSHA Vaccine Mandate

OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) was the key piece in the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for private employers. The ETS required employees working at any company with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated or wear a mask and submit to COVID testing weekly.

Current Status: The US Supreme Court upheld a preliminary injunction of the mandate, saying it likely exceeded OSHA’s authority. OSHA has withdrawn the ETS for the time being, but it is still keeping it in play as a proposed rule.

Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandate

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) put in place a vaccination mandate for healthcare workers at facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Lower courts in 25 states had put a temporary halt to the CMS mandate.

Current Status: The Supreme Court upheld mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers receiving CMS funding and removed the stay. After the Supreme Court decision, the CMS updated its guidelines and provided new compliance deadlines for vaccine mandates in several states.

In Colorado, healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated by February 28, 2022, in facilities that receive federal funding.

Federal Employee Vaccine Mandate

The federal government issued a vaccine mandate requiring all federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 2021.

Current Status: After the Supreme Court ruling, the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction to block the mandate. This put the federal employee vaccination mandate on hold for now. Masks, distance requirements, testing, and quarantine rules for federal employees remain in place.

Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate

By Executive Order, federal contractors were also required to submit to mandatory vaccinations.

Current Status: So far, seven district courts have enjoined the COVID vaccination mandate for federal contractors, ruling that the mandate exceeded the President’s authority. The federal contractor vaccine mandate is also on hold pending further litigation.

Colorado State Vaccine Mandates

Besides federal mandates, there are also state-by-state regulations regarding vaccinations. In Colorado, all state employees must be fully vaccinated or participate in testing twice a week. Unvaccinated workers must all wear masks indoors.

All workers at licensed healthcare facilities in Colorado who interact with patients are required to be fully vaccinated, including medical personnel, support staff, and any contractors.

While Colorado does not require vaccinations for schools, colleges, or universities, some colleges and universities have enacted vaccination requirements for students, faculty, and staff.

Employer Vaccine Mandates

Private employers have the right to enforce vaccine mandates or testing requirements but are not required to do so. Since the Supreme Court ruling, some employers have lifted their mandate, including General Electric and Starbucks. Others, such as Citigroup and Carhartt, have left mandates in place.