Jan. 17, 2022
In a statement on Jan. 13, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) commended the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to reinstate the stay on the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees.
“While we share the goal this mandate hopes to achieve, the reality is that this broad government overreach will have dramatic impacts on the economy, as tens of thousands of Americans quit their jobs rather than submit to the edict of government,” NAW CEO Eric Hoplin said. “Moreover, imposing testing requirements during a nationwide shortage of COVID-19 tests leaves businesses open to massive fines from the government. Since vaccines became available, NAW and its member companies have strongly supported vaccinating America and our workforce and will continue to do so until the pandemic is behind us.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced plans to require large employers to either ensure every employee was vaccinated or submitted to weekly COVID-19 testing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced an emergency temporary standard (ETA) in early November that guided how employers should comply with the regulation, however, it was immediately challenged in court. With federal appeals courts split on whether to stay or allow the mandate to move forward, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for both sides on Jan. 7 and issued a 6-3 decision to block the mandate.
“Although COVID–19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most. COVID–19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather,” the court wrote in its opinion. “That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life – simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock – would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.”