September 30, 2022

Court upholds Biden’s private business vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden’s private business vaccine or testing requirement was reinstated by a federal appeals court on Friday in what is a pointed win for the administration. 

The Daily Caller reported that the court allowed the mandate to move forward with the requirement that private companies with 100+ employees ensure that their workers are either fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issued a temporary halt of the rule and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and later subsequently suspended its implementation and enforcement due to a court order.

However, Friday’s 2-1 ruling by the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit will allow the administration to enforce the requirement, though the legal battles are expected to continue to the Supreme Court, according to Fox Business.

“Recognizing that the ‘old normal’ is not going to return, employers and employees have sought new models for a workplace that will protect the safety and health of employees who earn their living there,” Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch, appointed by former President Barack Obama, wrote in the ruling for the majority, according to Fox Business. 

In need of guidance on how to protect their employees from COVID-19 transmission while reopening business, employers turned to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration … the federal agency tasked with assuring a safe and healthful workplace.”

The administration appears to be relieved that their much-lauded mandate for private businesses could move forward despite the required pause. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki the administration will start to push toward their original Jan. 4 compliance deadline, the press secretary said on Nov. 18.

“Let me be very clear: Our message to businesses right now is to move forward with measures that will make their workplaces safer and protect them – their workforces – from COVID-19,” Psaki said at the time. “That was our message after the first day issued by the Fifth Circuit. That remains our message and nothing has changed.”

“They’re essentially implementing components or versions of these vaccine requirements because they know it’s in the interests of their workforces – to protect their workforces, to make sure they can bring more people back to the workforce. And we certainly see that as a positive sign,” Psaki continued. “So, we are still heading towards the same timeline.”

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