OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Employer ‘Vaccine Mandate’ for Companies with More than 100 Employees

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Following a November 12 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says it has suspended all activities related to the implementation and enforcement mandate requiring employers with more than 100 employees to require vaccination or COVID-19 testing pending future developments in the litigation. The mandate affects 84 million workers, or two-thirds of the nation’s private-sector workforce. OSHA’s decision doesn’t prevent private employers from implementing their own vaccine requirements, which courts have supported, only a blanket national and statewide policy. OSHA says it “remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies.”

 

 

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has suspended enforcement of its requirement that large employers nationwide ensure their workers are either vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly for the virus by Jan. 4 in light of a court stay, throwing President Biden’s controversial mandate into doubt.

 

The decision followed a stay the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans granted Friday in a lawsuit seeking to block the mandate filed on behalf of various companies, religious groups, private citizens and the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah.

The court concluded the mandate is “fatally flawed” and the lawsuit likely to succeed because “its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority.”

Critics of the mandate hailed the court decision as a victory for individual liberty.

“‘Take it or you’re fired’ is not informed consent,” said John Vecchione, senior litigation counsel for the nonprofit New Civil Liberties Alliance in Washington, D.C., which had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. “It is the practice of medicine without a license by a lawless bureaucracy.”

OSHA said Wednesday that since the court ordered that it “take no steps to implement or enforce” the mandate “until further court order,” the agency “has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement” of the requirement “pending future developments in the litigation.” The mandate would be enforced if the administration ultimately prevails in court.

“OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies,” the agency said.

Though California is outside the jurisdiction of the 5th Circuit court and is among 26 states with their own OSHA plans, the stay is being implemented nationwide.

Cal/OSHA, which was to meet Thursday to determine how it would implement the mandate in the state, said Wednesday it is following federal OSHA guidance to not proceed while the stay is in effect.

OSHA’s proposed mandate would have affected employers of 100 or more total U.S. full-time and part-time workers, even if they are scattered in smaller numbers at multiple sites, some 84 million workers, or two-thirds of the nation’s private-sector workforce.

Patrick Kallerman, vice president of research at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, said there are over 15,000 firms in California with more than 100 employees, comprising 57.2% of the state’s workforce.

OSHA’s decision doesn’t prevent private employers from implementing their own vaccine requirements, which courts have supported, only a blanket national and statewide policy. President Biden already has imposed similar vaccine or test mandates on federal workers and contractors, the military and federal health providers.

California already has adopted requirements for health care workers to be vaccinated and state workers and teachers to be either vaccinated or tested. California lawmakers considered a broader statewide employee vaccine mandate but failed to pass it this year; legislators may take it up again next year.

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Ragnar D.
Ragnar D.
8 months ago

I wonder if employees who have been fired for not taking the poison COVID death shot will be able to start large class action lawsuits on the grounds that these are still experimental “vaccines” and the employees have been fired for not being coerced into participating in medical experimentation. Comirnaty is not the same as the Pfizer BioNTech poison COVID death shot which remains unapproved and is still under emergency use authorization.