Recently, the Department of Labor announced that it will rescind the requirements regarding COVID testing and vaccine mandates for large American employers. The Department’s announcement emerges in the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which terminated the Biden administration’s highly controversial, partisan effort to augment vaccination rates.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the Labor Department, while the temporary emergency standard for the vaccine has been withdrawn, the rule will remain in existence as a proposal, ostensibly to become a permanent requirement in the future.
“OSHA continues to strongly encourage the vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace,” OSHA proclaimed.
To date, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the deaths of more than 850,000 individuals in the United States. In addition, the pandemic continues to stymie economic progress.
Last September, President Joe Biden announced multiple new regulations, which were designed to increase vaccination rates amongst American adults. Currently, 74 percent of the adult population in the United States is vaccinated, which is one of the lowest rankings for advanced economies.
However, Biden’s abrupt passage of federal mandates catalyzed intense criticism from various Republicans, conservative groups, and even some business organizations.
The OSHA vaccine mandate declared by Biden in the fall has since been blocked by the Supreme Court in an emergency hearing to begin the year. On January 13, the Court voted 6-3 against the vaccine mandate, arguing that OSHA could not legally enforce the standard prescribed by the Biden administration in the private sector.
While the Court blocked the OSHA mandate, it did not block the federal vaccine mandate for workers in the healthcare field, which has drawn significant controversy.
In addition, a third vaccine rule originating from the Biden administration also required contractors with the federal government to vaccinate their employees. However, a federal judge blocked that particular mandate last December, with another U.S. judge blocking the mandate for federal employees in the past week.
In general, the courts have determined the federal government lacks the requisite authority to pass sweeping vaccine mandates. However, vaccine mandates passed by local and state governments, as well as by individual businesses, have largely been upheld.