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Supreme Court Blocks OSHA's Mandate for Large Employers (100 or More Employees)

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Legal experts and business leaders rejoiced Thursday following news that the Supreme Court had blocked President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers.

The Supreme Court has stood up for all businesses by staying this illegal employer vaccine mandate, OSHA [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration] does not have the authority to implement this sweeping regulation that will burden American businesses, including many small businesses, with new costs and exacerbate the historic labor shortage.

This court ruling is another strike against the vaccine mandate to remain in place and block Biden from enforcing the vaccine mandate for companies and other organizations with 100 or more employees. The mandate for businesses comes from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the Labor Department, and was to go into effect Monday.

Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly, the court said in a 6-3 unsigned opinion. It added: “Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”

“We’re now seeing a pattern of regulatory overreach from the Biden administration,”. A slew of state attorneys general also celebrated the ruling, which they almost unanimously hailed as a “huge win” for Americans and their businesses and organizations. “Private employers are now free from an illegal, unconstitutional OSHA vax mandate,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “Very happy to see the mandate blocked”.

A mandate is the last thing that small businesses trying to recover from “almost two years of significant business disruptions” need, according to Karen Harned, executive director of the Small Business Legal Center of the National Federation of Independent Business.

“We are optimistic that the courts will ultimately agree with us that OSHA does not have the emergency authority to regulate the entire American workforce,” she said.

The justices were right to take this threat to our individual liberties seriously and put an end to this authoritarian mandate.

The Heritage Foundation was among those filing lawsuits challenging the Biden administration mandate in late November. Jessica Anderson, executive director of the think tank’s grassroots organization Heritage Action for America, said in a written statement that the Supreme Court decision confirms that the president’s mandate for private employers is “unlawful and a blatant abuse of power from the Biden administration.”

“His mandate put the federal government in charge of the personal medical decisions of millions of Americans and destroyed every American’s privacy,” Anderson added. “The justices were right to take this threat to our individual liberties seriously and put an end to this authoritarian mandate.”

As a result of the court’s decision, it is now up to states and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated.


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