Supreme Court Blocks Nationwide Vaccine and Testing Mandate for Large Businesses

Thomas M. Lee

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers, dealing a blow to a key element of its plan to address the pandemic. However, the court approved a more modest mandate mandating vaccination of health care workers in facilities that receive federal money.

The emergency temporary standard, which was administered by OSHA, would have imposed penalties on U.S. employers with 100 or more employees who failed to ensure that all of their employees, with the exception of those who qualified for an exemption, were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or tested for the virus each week. Employers would have been able to choose whether or not to offer testing and would not have had to pay for exams. Workers who had not been vaccinated would have had to wear a mask at work. Workers with religious objections and those who do not come into intimate contact with other people at their occupations, such as those who work from home or only work outside, were exempt.

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