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OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Vax Mandate After Fed Court Halts 'Staggeringly Overbroad' Order

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The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has officially suspended the implementation of its vaccine mandate for private businesses.

OSHA announced as much on its website, saying the agency has “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”

President Joe Biden previously instructed OSHA to implement and enforce the mandate starting Jan. 4 of next year.

Under the order, which came in the form of an “Emergency Temporary Standard,” all private employers with at least 100 employees must require their workers to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly tests for the virus.

Fines for failing to comply were up to $14,000 per violation.

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OSHA’s decision to suspend the rule comes shortly after multiple federal courts put a temporary halt on the order, pending litigation.

The first decision, handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Nov. 6, found there to be “grave statutory and constitutional” issues with the mandate.

The second ruling came on Friday when a three-judge panel from the same court upheld the block, calling the measure “fatally flawed” and “staggeringly overbroad,” according to CNBC.

Is the vaccine mandate constitutionally sound?

“The Mandate imposes a financial burden upon them by deputizing their participation in [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s] regulatory scheme, exposes them to severe financial risk if they refuse or fail to comply, and threatens to decimate their workforces (and business prospects) by forcing unwilling employees to take their shots, take their tests, or hit the road,” the judges wrote in their opinion.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which created OSHA,” the judges wrote, “was not … intended to authorize a workplace safety administration in the deep recesses of the federal bureaucracy to make sweeping pronouncements on matters of public health affecting every member of society in the profoundest of ways.”

Should the temporary rule be reimplemented following litigation, OSHA will be seeking to enforce it on a permanent basis.

The agency’s 490-page-long rule included a “Request for Comment” section that listed seven possible alterations to the rule, should it become permanent.

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OSHA asked for comment regarding each of the seven measures, along with many others.

Those possible changes included forcing the mandate on all employers, including those with less than 100 employees; forcing employers to implement mask mandates; allowing no exceptions for unvaccinated employees with natural immunity; removing weekly testing as an alternative to vaccination; testing more often than weekly; creating higher standards for masking; and enforcing rules regarding social distancing, physical barriers and ventilation requirements.

If all were implemented, these rules would essentially require vaccines and masks for every working American.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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