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OSHA halts enforcement of Biden administration COVID-19 vaccine mandate

The agency "has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation."

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is halting its enforcement of the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees after a court order.

On November 12, 2021, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which was published on November 5, 2021.

The court ordered that OSHA "take no steps to implement or enforce" the Emergency Temporary Standard "until further court order."

OSHA wrote that it "remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies." The agency "has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation."

"OSHA is complying with the 5th Circuit's stay," a Department of Labor official said, according to Fox News. "OSHA is not enforcing or implementing the reg – so they are not engaging or offering compliance assistance."

The agency had originally given a deadline of January 4 for businesses to comply with the mandate, that states that businesses with 100 or more employees must receive proof of vaccination from their employees, or subject them to weekly testing.

Businesses that don't willfully fail to comply could face hefty fines for each instance, reaching as must as $14,000 per violation.

The mandate has received backlash, with The Daily Wire filing a lawsuit against the administration for the mandate.

"I wanna start by saying The Daily Wire will not comply with President Biden's tyrannical vaccine mandate. And we've sued the Biden administration to put a stop to their gross overreach. The President lacks the constitutional authority to force individuals to take this vaccine," said co-founder and co-CEO of The Daily Wire Jeremy Boering.

According to Fox News, a coalition of more than ten US attorneys general announced a lawsuit on October 29 against the mandates for federal contractors and federally contracted employees.

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