OSHA withdraws rule on workplace vaccines

The Biden administration withdraws its requirement that large employers require workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or regu...


The Biden administration withdraws its requirement that large employers require workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or regularly tested, the Department of Labor said on Tuesday.

In applying the rule, the department recognized what was most employers and industry experts said after a Supreme Court decision this month – that the temporary emergency standard could not be reinstated after the court blocked it.

“It’s their admission of what everyone was saying, which is that the rule is dead,” said Brett Coburn, attorney at Alston & Bird.

The Supreme Court decisionwhich was 6 to 3, with liberal justices dissenting, said the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration had no authority to require workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or tested weekly, describing the agency’s approach as “a blunt instrument.”

The mandate would have applied to about 80 million people.

The Labor Department’s decision to withdraw the rule means pending legal action will be dropped. The case was returned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati for further consideration, although that court would most likely have followed the Supreme Court’s lead and struck it down.

OSHA could still try to push a version of the vaccine or test standard forward in its formal rule-making process, like the one focused on high-risk industries like meatpacking, but that would still likely be faced legal challenges, according to David Michaels, a former OSHA administrator who is a professor at George Washington University.

Without the Department of Labor standard in effect, employers are subject to a patchwork of national and local Covid-19 workplace safety lawswith places like New York requiring vaccination mandates and other governments banning them.

“OSHA continues to strongly encourage the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by Covid-19 in the workplace,” the Labor Department wrote in the takedown notice.

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Newsrust - US Top News: OSHA withdraws rule on workplace vaccines
OSHA withdraws rule on workplace vaccines
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