Appeals court blocks OSHA vaccine mandate

U.S. companies with 100 or more workers do not have to move forward with requiring COVID-19 vaccines of all employees yet.

On Saturday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s newly released rule that gave larger businesses until Jan. 4 to institute mask mandates and weekly testing for unvaccinated workers.

Whom does the ruling affect? Federal appeals court decisions typically apply to states within a circuit—Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, in this case—but Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the language used by the judges gave the ruling a national scope.

The injunction does not change President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates for federal employees and contractors or healthcare workers. 

At least 27 states filed lawsuits challenging the rule in several circuits. The Biden administration must reply to the motion for a permanent injunction on Monday, the 5th Circuit ordered.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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