The National Retail Federation, which was one of several trade groups to sue the administration over the mandate, called the Supreme Court’s action a “significant victory for employers.” The organization said it “urges the Biden administration to discard this unlawful mandate and instead work with employers, employees and public health experts on practical ways to increase vaccination rates and mitigate the spread of the virus in 2022.”
Companies have been preparing for months for the mandate, and many may still go forward with their policies, said Douglas Brayley, an employment lawyer at Ropes & Gray. He also noted that the Supreme Court had not ruled against employer vaccination mandates.
Some local and state laws still require employers mandate weekly testing or vaccinations. New York City, for example, has a more stringent rule than the federal government’s, requiring all on-site workers to be vaccinated.
However, other states have laws that prohibit mask or vaccine mandates. This federal rule would have pre-empted. With the Biden administration’s rule blocked, many employers in those states will be unable to require vaccines, said David Michaels, an epidemiologist and a professor at George Washington University and a former OSHA administrator.
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“This decision will be an excuse for those employers who care less about their employees to return to business as usual,” Dr. Michaels said. He stated that the decision could further divide white-collar workers who are able to stay at home and those who need to conduct business in person due to the increase in Covid cases.
United Airlines announced this week that while 3,000 employees had Covid-19 vaccinations, no one of its vaccinated employees was currently hospitalized. The airline stated that its employee hospitalization rate has fallen significantly from the U.S. population since the vaccine policy was in effect.
Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician and the associate dean at Brown University’s School of Public Health, called the ruling a “tremendous blow” to national efforts to battle the pandemic.
Source: NY Times