Occupational Safety and Health Administration will not enforce COVID-19 vaccination mandates by the Biden administration, at least not until they are resolved.
On Wednesday, OSHA made the announcement. OSHA now states on its website that it is confident in its ability to provide protection for workers during emergencies. However, OSHA has stopped all activities related to enforcement and implementation of the regulations. [COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard]In case of future developments, please refer to the lawsuit.”
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, quashed Biden’s mandate to vacate all businesses with at least 100 employees. Three-judge panels criticized the mandate for being fatally flawed and excessively broad. There are reasonsJacob Sullum, senior editor, dived into the legal arguments in opposition to the mandate. While I addressed some more philosophical objections here.
OSHA has stated that this mandate is within its jurisdiction to protect workplaces. However, the U.S. Supreme Court remains uncertain. The mandate applies to remote workers, who may not come in contact with coworkers often enough to be considered a workplace danger.
While it’s unclear if Biden will challenge the mandate for vaccines in court proceedings, it’s clear that the federal government wants businesses to be required to get vaccinated as soon as they can. At least OHSA is standing down—for now.