The Great Wall of vaccine mandates that President Joe Biden hoped to build between unvaccinated Americans and their jobs has begun to crumble.
General Electric, which had been putting in place a vaccine mandate policy to conform to the Biden administration’s rule requiring one, has announced that it is dropping the plan, according to Just the News, which said the plan would have impacted 56,000 workers.
Last week, the Supreme Court threw out the emergency rule that the Biden administration had tried to enact through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that would have required every employer with 100 or more employees to ensure employees were vaccinated against the coronavirus and tested regularly.
Multiple employers have reversed policies they put in place in anticipation the rule would take effect, according to NBC.
David Barron, a Houston-based employment attorney, said health care employers who can do so in light of a court ruling that upheld the vaccine mandate for some health care workers need to undo their mandates to retain workers or bring back those who had left when mandates were imposed.
“Most employers do not have the luxury of losing 5 percent or 10 percent or whatever percent of their workforce doesn’t want to get vaccinated,” Barron said. “In this environment, it’s very tough, especially in jobs like health care or other industries where it’s a very tight labor market.”
Amtrak has also announced the reversal of its mandate, noting that without losing the employees it was planning to lose, service reductions that had been announced for February will no longer take place.
— Hogan Lovells (@HoganLovells) January 17, 2022
Barron said large employers will face a difficult time when they operate in places with different rules.
Should employers have vaccine mandates?
“What we might end up with is a patchwork — red state, blue state — where some states, some cities have mandates, and then others don’t — which is going to be a nightmare for large, multistate companies,” he explained.
Chris Spear, the president of the American Trucking Associations, said the OSHA rule “would interfere with individuals’ private health care decisions.”
Karen Harned, of the National Federation of Independent Business, said at a time when small businesses are struggling, “the last thing they need is a mandate that would cause more business challenges.”
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) January 13, 2022
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah called the mandate’s demise a “big win” for Americans, according to the Deseret News.
“The Supreme Court looked at this and said, ‘Look, Congress hasn’t authorized this,’” he said.
“They tried to make law through an executive branch agency. Federal bureaucrats don’t have the power to make law. They did here. The Supreme Court shut that down.”
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