Biden administration suspends enforcement of business vaccine mandate to comply with court order

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  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it “suspends activities related to the implementation and enforcement” of the requirements “pending further developments in the lawsuit”.
  • The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, considered one of the most conservative in the country, last week ordered OSHA to “take no steps to enforce or enforce the mandate until further court orders.”
  • The White House had previously asked businesses to proceed with the implementation of the requirements.

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The Biden administration has suspended enforcement of its vaccination and testing requirements for private businesses after a federal appeals court halted the rules pending review.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a statement on its website, the agency has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the requirements “pending further developments in litigation.”

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, considered one of the most conservative in the country, last week ordered OSHA to “take no steps to enforce or enforce the mandate until further court orders.”

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Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt, in an opinion for the three-judge panel, called the Biden policy “fatally flawed” and “shockingly overbroad”, arguing that it probably exceeded the authority of the federal government and ” raises serious constitutional issues”.

The White House had previously asked businesses to proceed with the implementation of the requirements.

The Republican attorney general, private businesses and national industry groups such as the National Retail Federation, the American Trucking Association and the National Federal of Independent Business have sued to overturn the requirements. Labor unions are asking the courts to expand the requirements to cover small businesses and protect more workers.

Those cases were transferred to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio this week after the Biden administration asked a multi-district litigation panel to consolidate 34 lawsuits into a single court through random selection. The Sixth Circuit, which has a Republican-appointed majority, ordered the administration to file a single response to all challenges by November 30.

The Biden administration, in response to the Fifth Circuit’s early November 6 press pause decision, warned that halting the implementation of vaccine requirements “could result in dozens or even hundreds of lives per day”. Because the virus spreads. The Department of Labor and Justice says OSHA did a good job within its authority established by Congress.

Under Biden policy, businesses with 100 or more employees faced a January 4 deadline to ensure that their employees were vaccinated or routinely tested. Non-vaccinated employees were required to start wearing masks indoors at the workplace from 5 December.

OSHA said it “believes in its right to protect workers in an emergency.” The agency, which ensures workplace safety for the Department of Labor, issued the requirements under its emergency authorization. OSHA may shorten the general rule-making process if the Secretary of Labor determines that a new workplace safety standard is necessary to protect workers from serious hazards.

Whatever the outcome in a federal appeals court, the case will be decided by the Supreme Court, according to Carl Tobias, a professor of law at the University of Richmond. “Whoever loses in the Sixth Circuit is going to the Supreme Court,” Tobias told CNBC on Thursday.

The US Chamber of Commerce, in a statement to CNBC this week, advised businesses to proceed with implementation until the requirements “definitely have stopped.”

Mark Friedman, the chamber’s vice president of employment policy, said of the emergency temporary standard, “Eventually the courts are going to decide, but employers still need to take it as a live etsy.” “They should not rely on the initial actions of 5.”th circuit,” he told CNBC in a statement.

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