Vaccine mandate for employers on hold in the US

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has suspended all activities pertaining to enforcement of the mandate till further court orders


The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, has ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cannot employ measures to enforce ‘any emergency temporary standard’ and that the mandate is “flawed”. The ruling came following a lawsuit filed on behalf of various establishments, citizens, religious groups as well as the states of Utah, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and South Carolina who have been against the mandate. Almost 34 objections have been filed.

Until further notice from the court, implementation of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard —which required employers (with 100 or more employees in their establishment) to impose a mandatory vaccination policy requiring employees to be fully vaccinated or get themselves tested regularly — will remain suspended.

The mandate would have, if implemented, affected about two-thirds of the private-sector workforce in the US. That is, about 84 million employees.

Starting November 5, 2021 employers had been allowed a period of 30 days to implement a vaccination plan and 60 days to enforce a mask and test plan.

While business groups are all for the vaccination, they are against the nationwide mandate.

President Biden’s administration, however, maintains that it has support from the American Medical Association for the vaccine mandate, and therefore is in a strong legal position to defend the same. Also, OSHA is confident that it has only acted within its authority in trying to protect the population.

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