Following in the footsteps of governors in states such as Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas, on October 28, 2021, Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued Executive Order 21-10, a measure intended to chip away at the reach of federal vaccine mandates. The order stops short of applying to private employers and instead extends only to agencies, boards, commissions, or entities within the executive branch of the state government.
Employers in Missouri (and across the United States) continue to await the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS), which remains under review at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The OSHA ETS is expected to mandate vaccination or weekly testing of all employees at companies with 100 or more employees, but everyone is very curious to know the exact terms and language.
Missouri employers have been (and continue to be) able to mandate vaccinations in their workplaces despite this new Executive Order, provided that the vaccination requirements allow for valid medical or religious accommodations consistent with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s COVID-19 guidance.
Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.