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OSHA withdraws vaccine mandate

Today, the Biden Administration withdrew its vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. This comes just 13 days after the Supreme Court ruled against the requirement in a 6 to 3 vote, with the majority concluding that The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have “power to regulate public health more broadly.”

“After evaluating the Court’s decision, OSHA is withdrawing the Vaccination and Testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard,” reads The Department of Labor’s statement. “Notwithstanding the withdrawal of the Vaccination and Testing ETS, OSHA continues to strongly encourage the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace.”

OSHA’s mandate was initially slated to take effect on Monday, January 10th. 

According to the New York Times, “The case was headed back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati for further consideration.” But with OSHA’s withdrawal, further legal proceedings have been dropped.

Without the federal mandate, employers will continue following state and local laws pertaining to workplace safety and COVID-19. In Washington state, for example, “Employers are required to implement a social distancing plan, conduct frequent cleaning and sanitizing and ensure frequent and proper hand washing.” 

To see the details of the state’s workplace safety COVID-19 guidelines, click here.

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