A federal appeals court temporarily stopped President Biden’s vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more employees. Three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana on Saturday, Nov. 6, issued the emergency stay. The White House has until Monday afternoon to submit a response.
The court’s emergency stay immediately prevents the Biden administration from necessitating all workers at private-sector companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or get tested weekly and wear face masks. According to the rule, businesses would have until Jan. 4 to mandate COVID vaccinations or start weekly testing of their workers.
In its decision, the court wrote: “Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court.”
Another lawsuit was filed on Friday, Nov. 5, in the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis.
So far, the vaccine mandate and OSHA’s authority have been challenged in courts by more than two dozen states with republican governors, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Iowa’s attorney general, Tom Miller, a Democrat, along with numerous private, nonprofit and religious employers, also joined the lawsuits.
The president’s Emergency Temporary Standard mandate, published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, was issued Thursday, Nov. 4, and would apply to about 84 million Americans. Employers with 100 or more workers failing to comply could be hit with fines of up to $14,000 per infraction, according to the ETS guidelines.