Following the Supreme Court's ruling against President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate on Thursday, General Electric (GE) has suspended its COVID-19 vaccine or testing requirement for its employees. The Boston-based company confirmed the decision on Friday though e-mail, according to The Boston Globe.
GE's suspension of its COVID-19 requirement marks the first major company to do so in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling. The company, which holds a number of government contracts, originally fell under the separate vaccination mandate for federal contractors, though GE paused the requirement in December after a federal judge issues a temporary block on the rule. The company then planned to comply with the private employee vaccine or testing requirement.
GE could still require its employees to comply with the vaccine or testing requirement pending a ruling on the federal contractor mandate. "The Biden administration has said it would not enforce the federal contractor mandate until the court challenges are resolved," according to The Boston Globe.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s vaccine mandate, that would have affected around 80 million American workers. It required large businesses with 100 or more employees to require that workers be vaccinated or be subjected to weekly testing for the coronavirus.
"OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress," wrote the conservative justices in an unsigned opinion. "Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here."