Aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Vaccination Rulings
By Paul Evelius
On January 13, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden Administration’s attempt, through an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule, to force large private employers to impose a COVID-19 vaccine-or-test policy on their workers. The Court deemed the rule to be outside OSHA’s enforcement authority, reasoning that COVID-19 relates less to the work-related dangers and occupational diseases that are within OSHA purview than it does day-to-day public health dangers (such as crime, air pollution, and many communicable diseases) that are not peculiar to the workplace.
Simultaneously, however, the Court upheld a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule that imposes mandatory COVID-19 vaccination on workers at certain federally funded healthcare facilities.
The Court’s rulings are not generalized judgments on the propriety or legality of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies. They address only whether Congress gave OSHA and CMS the authority to adopt the rules at issue. Put another way, the rulings neither endorse nor undermine measures, including mandatory vaccination, that private employers may choose to implement in the COVID-19 fight.
Nonetheless, employers implementing such measures must consider various federal and state laws in doing so. Those laws include, for example, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as various state laws regulating vaccination policies. Only a well-crafted plan will ensure compliance with applicable law. If you have questions on how to do so in a way suited for your business, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maryland State Income Tax Filing Extension Announced
Marylanders will have an extra three months to file and pay their 2021 state income tax returns, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced January 19, 2022. The new date is Friday, July 15, 2022.
Maryland taxpayers do not need to request an extension to receive the three-month grace period; it will be automatically granted to all resident and nonresident filers. Taxpayers who expect to receive a refund should file their return as soon as possible and not wait until July 15 to submit.
The goal is to help taxpayers facing financial hardships from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Many people are still struggling to stay above water, so giving taxpayers more time to file and pay will hopefully ease their financial pressure,” Franchot said in a statement.
This is the third consecutive year Franchot has extended filing and payment deadlines to July 15. According to the press release, those extensions have benefitted roughly 600,000 taxpayers each of the past two years, enabling them to hold on to a combined $1.8 billion as an interest-free loan, which may have allowed them to take care of more pressing issues like paying rent or keeping their businesses open.
There has been no change to the due dates for business returns such as those for passthrough entities or corporations.
The IRS has warned of processing delays, but has not indicated plans to extend the federal income tax filing and payment deadline beyond April 18.
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