After the Federal Court of Appeals ordered the suspension of the new regulations, Joe Biden’s efforts to force the company to impose a “vaccine or test” order on its employees were put on hold.
On Saturday, a panel of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans ruled that the president’s plan should be suspended until at least Monday after it was discovered that they constitute “serious statutory and constitutional issues.”
The Biden administration must appeal the ruling by 5 pm on Monday and restart the planning process for the new regulations, which will take effect on January 4, aimed at increasing the sluggish vaccination rates in the United States.
The appeal was filed by Republican states such as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, as well as a coalition of companies and religious groups.
Another Republican State Attorney General of Georgia, Chris Carr, who was not involved in the case, said in a statement: “The federal government has no right to impose medical care on Georgia companies and their employees under the guise of workplace safety. Decision. We are fighting back against this unprecedented abuse of power to stop this authorization before it causes irreparable damage to our country and economy.”
After months of rising cases and declining vaccination rates, Joe Biden announced a new “vaccine or test” directive last month. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is responsible for supervision and enforcement, announced the details of the new mission last week.
According to the proposed rule, companies with at least 100 employees must prove that their employees have been fully vaccinated or tested weekly. Employees do not have to prove their vaccination status, but they can sign a self-certification stating that they have been vaccinated and understand that they will be subject to criminal penalties for lying.
Many large companies have imposed their own vaccine regulations, but business groups say that it may be difficult for small companies to do so. The conservative business organization Job Creators Network said it has filed a separate appeal against the rule, calling it “unconstitutional” and “harmful.”
The Biden administration insists that it has the legal power to overturn state concerns because the pandemic is a health emergency.
Sima Nanda, the most senior legal officer of the Department of Labor, said in a statement: “The Occupational Safety and Health Act clearly empowers Osage to act quickly in an emergency. The agency found that workers are facing serious dangers and need new standards. Protect them.
“We are fully prepared to defend this standard in court.”