OSHA suspends enforcement of large employer ‘vaccine mandate’

National News

FILE – In this Sept. 14, 2021 file photo, a syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. President Joe Biden has directed OSHA to write a rule requiring employers with at least 100 workers to force employees to get vaccinated or produce weekly test results showing they are virus free.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSPA) – Following a November 12 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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 ruling by the court ordered that OSHA can take no steps to implement or enforce what is known as an emergency temporary standard “until further court order.”

OSHA’s emergency temporary standard said covered employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.

Employers had 30 days to implement a vaccination and/or 60 days to implement a mask and test plan from November 5, 2021.

Challenges to President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers will now be consolidated in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, a panel dominated by judges appointed by Republicans, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

In all, 34 objections have been filed in all 11 federal regional circuits plus the one for the District of Columbia.

The Cincinnati-based court was selected Tuesday in a random drawing using ping-pong balls, a process employed when challenges to certain federal agency actions are filed in multiple courts.

The Biden administration has insisted it’s on strong legal footing. It also has the backing of the American Medical Association, which filed papers in support of the mandate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You can read more from OSHA here.

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