U.S. Federal Court of Appeals Freezes Biden’s Vaccine Rule for Businesses

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court on Saturday issued a suspension freezing the Biden administration’s efforts to demand that workers in U.S. companies with 100 or more employees be vaccinated against COVID- 19 or be tested weekly, citing “serious statutory and constitutional provisions” Problems with the rule.

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruling for the Fifth Circuit comes after many Republican-led states filed legal appeals against the new rule, which is expected to take effect on Jan.4.

In a statement, labor attorney Seema Nanda said the Ministry of Labor was “confident in its legal authority” to issue the rule, which will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) .

The Occupational Safety and Health Act explicitly gives OSHA the power to act quickly in an emergency when the agency finds that workers are in serious danger and a new standard is needed to protect them, ”she said. “We are fully prepared to defend this standard in court. “

On average, about 1,100 Americans die each day from COVID-19, most of them unvaccinated. COVID-19 has killed an estimated 750,000 people in the United States.

U.S. President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks on the importance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements, during a visit to a Clayco construction site in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, States United, October 7, 2021. REUTERS / Evelyn Hockstein / File Photo

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The reprieve comes two days after the Biden administration unveiled the rule, which was immediately greeted with vows of legal action from Republican governors and others, who argued it overstepped the rule. legal authority of the administration. Read more

The action on private sector vaccinations has been taken under OSHA’s Emergency Workplace Safety Authority, officials said. The rule applies to 84.2 million workers at 1.9 million private sector employers, according to OSHA.

The administration’s various vaccine rules cover 100 million employees, or about two-thirds of the U.S. workforce, according to the White House.

Saturday’s court order came in response to a joint petition from several businesses, advocacy groups and states in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah. The rule is also the subject of separate legal challenges in other courts. Read more

The two-page order directs the Biden administration to respond to the request for a permanent injunction against the rule by 5 p.m. Monday.

Reporting by Mike Scarcella, additional reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Pete Schroeder; written by Pete Schroeder Edited by Alistair Bell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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