Business groups celebrate Supreme Court halting Biden's OSHA vaccine mandate
SCOTUS ruled COVID-19 is not an occupational hazard but a 'universal risk'
Business groups are heaping praise on the U.S. Supreme Court after the high court halted the Biden administration's coronavirus vaccine and testing mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees.
The National Federation of Independent Business, which sued along with dozens of other plaintiffs to stop the administration from issuing its diktat via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, was among the first to celebrate.
SUPREME COURT BLOCKS BIDEN OSHA VACCINE MANDATE, ALLOWS RULE FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS
"Today’s decision is welcome relief for America’s small businesses, who are still trying to get their business back on track since the beginning of the pandemic," NFIB Small Business Legal Center executive director Karen Harned said in a statement following the decision.
"As small businesses try to recover after almost two years of significant business disruptions, the last thing they need is a mandate that would cause more business challenges," Harned continued. "We are pleased the Supreme Court stopped the rule from taking effect while the courts consider whether or not it is legal. We are optimistic that the courts will ultimately agree with us that OSHA does not have the emergency authority to regulate the entire American workforce."
Job Creators Network president and CEO Alfredo Ortiz also hailed the outcome, saying in a statement, "The Supreme Court has stood up for small businesses by staying this illegal employer vaccine mandate."
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"The court has confirmed what JCN has long argued: OSHA does not have the authority to implement this sweeping regulation that will burden American businesses, including many small businesses, with new costs and exacerbate the historic labor shortage," Ortiz went on to say. "By Issuing this stay, the Supreme Court has freed small businesses to focus on bringing the economy back to its pre-pandemic peak."
The National Retail Federation also weighed in, issuing a statement saying that "While NRF has maintained a strong and consistent position related to the importance of vaccines in helping to overcome this pandemic, the Supreme Court’s decision to stay OSHA’s onerous and unprecedented ETS is a significant victory for employers."
"As NRF and other plaintiffs articulated in our briefs before the court, OSHA clearly exceeded its authority promulgating its original mandate under emergency powers without giving stakeholders the benefit of a rulemaking process," the group said, adding, "NRF urges the Biden Administration to discard this unlawful mandate and instead work with employers, employees and public health experts on practical ways to increase vaccination rates and mitigate the spread of the virus in 2022."
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While the Supreme Court suspended the OSHA rule that went into effect Monday and required that all impacted businesses require employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing, SCOTUS did allow the Biden administration's separate vaccine mandate for some health care workers to stand.