OSHA Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers is Back, at Least for Now
On Friday December 17th, United States Court of Appeals for the 6th district overturned the pause on the vaccine mandate that affects businesses with 100 or more employees, according to the New York Times. This could be unwelcome news for the companies who are holding on to employees that have not received a vaccine. Judge Jane B Stranch gave her reasoning for reinstating it by stating, “The record establishes that Covid-19 has continued to spread, mutate, kill and block the safe return of American workers to their jobs. To protect workers, OSHA can and must be able to respond to dangers as they evolve.” The Biden Administration also supported the decision expressing a belief that 22 million people would get vaccinated and 250 thousand hospitalizations would be prevented due to the new OSHA regulation.
This may be only the beginning of the lawsuits though. The National Retail Federation, one of the groups suing OSHA, stated that they are looking at other legal options moving forward. They also said that companies would need to get ready to follow the mandate for now. According to NBC, OSHA said they would not give any Covid citations before January 10th, and they will not give Covid test related citations until February 9th.
This legal decision does not affect the healthcare mandate that is still being litigated. It will also take some time to see if it will affect the democrats in the 2022 election. According to a new CNN Poll, 6 out of 10 people support the vaccine mandate for employers. Joe Biden also had a 54% approval rating on handling the pandemic according to the same poll.