OSHA suspends Biden admin’s vaccine mandate following court order, lawsuits
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has put on hold the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. employers with 100 employees or more, after being ordered by a court last week to do so.
The Department of Labor, which oversees OSHA, told Fox News Wednesday the agency has suspended the implementation and enforcement of the mandate while it goes through the courts.
The decision followed a stay the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans granted Friday in a lawsuit seeking to block the mandate filed on behalf of various companies, religious groups, private citizens and the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah.
The court believes the mandate is “fatally flawed” and the lawsuit likely to succeed because “its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority.” Critics of the mandate hailed the court decision as a victory for individual liberty.
“Take it or you’re fired’ is not informed consent,” said John Vecchione, senior litigation counsel for the nonprofit New Civil Liberties Alliance in Washington, D.C., which had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. “It is the practice of medicine without a license by a lawless bureaucracy.”
In an update on its website on Wednesday, OSHA noted that last week “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” and “ordered that OSHA ‘take no steps to implement or enforce’ the ETS ‘until further court order.’”
The statement adds, “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.”