Biden’s vaccine mandate blocked by U.S. Supreme Court

By Paige HaeffeleFebruary 08, 2022

Construction firms with more than 100 employees will not need to require workers to be fully vaccinated or face weekly Covid testing, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked President Biden’s proposed mandate.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the proposed vaccination mandate for large companies by a 6-3 majority, according to the official U.S. Supreme Court website. The motion itself would have mandated that companies with over 100 workers require employees to be fully vaccinated or face weekly Covid testing in order to control the spread of the virus.

Photo showing the vaccine being prepared Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash

According to CNBC, the “vaccine or test” mandate was faced with lawsuits from 27 states.

The motion was blocked because those opposed believed it was infringing upon the rights of individuals and independent companies and would be too hefty a cost for businesses to bear.

“The President’s authority is not that broad, [so] the court will enjoin the second order’s enforcement,” ruled Judge Jeffery Brown of Texas, who was appointed by Donald Trump.

OSHA formally withdrew from the emergency pandemic mandate on January 26.

However, individual states may have different rules and regulations regarding the requirement to wear masks indoors.

According to AARP, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Oregon only require mask usage indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Connecticut is only continuing to require masks indoors for the unvaccinated. Washington is further enforcing masks outdoors for large events.

Other than the states listed, many are “recommending” masks, but no longer enforcing their use.

The White House at the time urged businesses to follow the public safety requirements to support themselves and control the spread even if they were not being enforced.

Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) filed a legal challenge against that “emergency” OSHA standard in November.

“We are as eager as anyone to see more construction workers become fully vaccinated,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the AGC’s chief executive officer. “But imposing a strict mandate on a small sector of the construction industry will only drive vaccine-hesitant workers out of that sector, and to one of the many other sectors also desperate for more workers.”

Sandherr added that it continues to work to encourage all construction workers to get vaccinated.

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