OSHA suspends Biden mandate after federal appeals court upholds decision to pause it

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) suspended enforcement of the a vaccine mandate that was to be applied to large companies by Biden’s administration. OSHA has made the decision after a federal appeals court confirmed the decision to pause the mandate last week.

OSHA has issued a website statement, saying that they remained confident in their authority to protect workers in emergencies and had suspended activities related to the enforcement and implementation of the Emergency Temporary Standard for future developments in the litigation.

In September, Biden announced the mandate and directed OSHA to create workplace guidelines to carry it out, which would compel every company with 100 or more employees to either give their staff the COVID-19 vaccine or have them tested regularly and wear face masks.

Companies that did not comply would be fined $14,000 for each violation, according to OSHA guidelines, which were supposed to take effect on Jan. 4. 

A three-member board of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals got together in New Orleans last week and upheld the stay on the mandate’s execution, citing “severe statutory and constitutional” issues.

On Nov. 6, the appeals court issued an initial halt on the rules’ enforcement and confirmed the decision last week.

The rules that would affect over 84 million workers were called unconstitutional by over two dozen state attorneys general, as well as from business and religious groups.

While many Republicans have spoken out against the mandate, some Democrats, such as Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, have also spoken out against Biden’s mandate.

The Biden administration has claimed that enforcing the mandate is crucial to terminate the pandemic and reopen the economy and that failing to do so could result in dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths.

Despite the legal decision, the Biden administration has encouraged businesses to voluntarily implement a vaccine mandate, claiming that it will save them money and improve operations.