The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says it has suspended the implementation and enforcement of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses.
The announcement came shortly after a U.S. appeals court rejected a challenge by the Biden administration on Nov. 12 and reaffirmed its decision to put on hold OSHA’s mandate, which requires that businesses with 100 employees or more ensure that workers either be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022, or be tested weekly and wear a mask.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans stated in an opinion that OSHA’s mandate is “staggeringly overbroad,” and ordered it to “take no steps to implement or enforce the Mandate until further court order.”
The court had previously issued a temporary halt to the mandate on Nov. 6, pending litigation.
“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,” the Labor Department affirmed in a statement in recognition of the court’s ruling.
At least 27 U.S. states, as well as private employers, religious organizations, and other groups, have sued the Biden administration, claiming that it’s exceeding its authority in issuing the mandate.