BREAKING: OSHA halts enforcement of Biden’s vaccine mandate
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it’s suspending its enforcement of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large employers after a federal appeals court upheld a stay on it last week.
“The court ordered that OSHA ‘take no steps to implement or enforce’ the ETS [Emergency Temporary Standard] ‘until further court order.’ While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation,” OSHA’s statement read.
In September, President Joe Biden announced that the administration was rolling out a new rule requiring all private employers with at least 100 to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing for all workers. The mandate would impact close to 80 million workers.
Earlier this month, the administration set a Jan. 4 deadline for eligible employers to implement the mandate. Last week, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the administration’s order was “fatally flawed.” It ruled that OSHA desist from enforcing the requirement “pending adequate judicial review.”
Dozens of state attorneys general and other groups are challenging the mandate in court.
Despite the court’s decision, the Biden administration urged businesses to continue enforcing COVID-19 vaccines and testing.
“We think people should not wait. We say: Do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe. It is important and critical to do and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness,” said White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
The White House has said it believes it has the authority to issue such a mandate for workers. It is unclear how the administration will respond to OSHA’s announcement.