OSHA suspends workplace vaccine mandate

by sam

Samuel Case, FISM News


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it is pausing the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with over 100 employees following a motion to stay the mandate by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

“On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) (‘ETS’),” OSHA wrote on Wednesday, adding, “The court ordered that OSHA ‘take no steps to implement or enforce’ the ETS ‘until further court order.’ While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”

OSHA’s pause on the order follows lawsuits from 26 states against the mandate, which punishes employers with a $136,000 fine per willful violation. Meanwhile 22 are challenging a separate vaccine mandate specifically for healthcare workers. 

Last week the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld its decision to block the mandate, calling it “fatally flawed,” and acting as “a one-size-fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers) that have more than a little bearing on workers’ varying degrees of susceptibility to the supposedly ‘grave danger’ the Mandate purports to address.” 

In the ruling the court stated that OSHA shall “take no steps to implement or enforce the mandate until further court order.”