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Court Rules in Favor of Biden Administration’s Large Employer Vaccine Rule

From the PA Chamber of Business and Industry

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Friday that the Biden Administration could proceed with its COVID-19 vaccine or testing requirement for employers with 100 or more employees. This proposal, first promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in early November, had been enjoined by an earlier court decision. Plaintiffs have already appealed last week’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The mandate, which the Board of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce opposes, is scheduled to take effect Jan. 4, 2022, though OSHA announced this past weekend that it would not issue citations before Jan. 10 in order to give employers additional time to develop and implement policies. OSHA issued this proposal as an Emergency Temporary Standard, which expedites implementation and allows the agency to forgo the standard public comment period.

The ETS was issued as part of a series of Biden administration vaccine mandates, including one for federal contractors and another focused on the healthcare industry. Both of these additional mandates were similarly challenged in court and stayed, though a decision last week may allow the healthcare rule proceed in roughly half of the states, including Pennsylvania.

The Associated Press outlines what the ruling means for businesses.

From the Columbia Montour Chamber: Members have been inquiring about testing resources. A reminder that employers are not required to conduct or pay for employee testing. Area facilities that provide testing include the Bloomsburg Medicine Shoppe and WorkPlace Health. If you are a member that provides testing or knows of another resource, please contact us. The lowest-cost option we’ve identified to date is a home test that can be observed by the employer.