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Vaccine Mandate for Employees Blocked by Appeals Court

US Canada

President Biden has tried to enforce a mandatory vaccination policy by directing private employers with over 100 employees to require vaccinations for all employees.

The matter was taken to court by several States and many private business owners over the constitutional authority to require such regulations.

A three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has now permanently blocked OSHA from implementing and enforcing its vaccine rule on November 12, 2021, citing to “serious constitutional concerns” with the rule. This impacts employers nationwide. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suspended enforcement of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large private businesses after a federal appeals court upheld a stay on it last week.

OSHA said in a statement published on its website Friday night that while it is confident in its power to protect workers amid the pandemic, it is suspending activities related to the mandate, citing the pending litigation.

“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 said.

President Biden announced in September that the administration was rolling out a new rule that would require all private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing for all personnel, a guideline that has the potential to impact nearly 80 million workers.

In a 22-page ruling last week, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate was “fatally flawed” and ordered that OSHA not enforce the requirement “pending adequate judicial review” of a motion for a permanent injunction.

While private business may have the authority to impose mandatory vaccinations, they may now be subject to potential lawsuits from employees who consider the mandate to be discriminatory or in violation of their constitutional rights.

A judicial panel on Tuesday consolidated 34 lawsuits challenging the Biden administration's workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Once that decision is made it is expected to move to the Supreme Court.