Supreme Court Blocks OSHA Workplace Vaccine Mandates

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
supreme court blocks osha workplace vaccine mandates

A divided U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test rule that would have been enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and impacted roughly 1.7 million automotive employees.

“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” the court explained. “Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”

The high court also doubted that the plan would have worked at all during numerous hearings, citing that 27 states had already issued formal opposition to OSHA’s plan to begin mandatory vaccination requirements for businesses. Their claim was that the proposed rules were unconstitutional and vastly exceeded the organization’s authority.

“The Biden Administration’s OSHA rule was a long time coming and we have been preparing for months now in anticipation,” Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy stated in November 2021. “President Biden’s attempt to force mandates upon the nation is unconstitutional — it is an attack against the individual’s freedom and a threat against liberty. My administration previously issued an Administrative Order which represents my commitment to Alaskans against President Biden’s vaccine mandates. Alaskans can rest assured I will take every action possible to defend them and their rights. I am not anti-vaccine; I am anti-mandate, and I will stand up against federal overreach.”

While support of the proposed OSHA rules remained strong among businesses through 2021, numerous organizations that would have been subject to the rules likewise started walking things back during the fall — including automakers.

Domestic manufacturers (Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis) had all indicated that they would likely comply with vaccine mandates before January of 2022, coinciding with the Biden administration’s preferred timeline. Some had also started requiring salaried workers to report for their vaccine status while the Canadian side of the business actually began requiring vaccine proof just to enter the building.

However organized opposition to mandates had swelled throughout 2021 and none of the Big Three were willing to commit to anything by November for the United States. The same was true of the UAW, which encouraged members to get vaccinated while officially opposing any government-backed initiatives that would have forced the issue. The most domestic automakers would say is that they collectively supported the UAW’s request for all unionized workers to voluntarily submit their vaccine status to employers and would likely continue requiring the wearing of personal protective equipment (e.g. masks). But the industry remained quiet on the matter through December 2021, perhaps waiting to see how things played out with the Supreme Court.

They now have their answer. Judges decided to oppose the Biden Administration’s plan to give OSHA more authority, with three members of the court’s left wing (Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan) having dissented.

Though the Supreme Court did narrowly allow (5-4) a requirement would require health care workers in facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding to be vaccinated, pending further proceedings. This time it was the right-leaning members of the court (Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett) dissenting.

Automakers and the UAW are expected to give a joint statement on the Supreme Court decision pertaining to vaccines in the coming days.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • JD-Shifty JD-Shifty on Jan 17, 2022

    " Then why has case numbers exploded over the past 2 months? We were told the vaccines would stop the spread. Has it?" Omicron is more contagious. you should read about it. The vaccine is supposed to mitigate the severity and death and help to keep the hospitals from being over run. Hope this helps you

    • See 8 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Jan 18, 2022

      @mcs "@Dahlquist: No, it’s more than just sniffles. Maybe you should read about it." @Nelson It's really not. It's MILD cold symptoms. The flu is worse and more dangerous. Maybe you should read about it.

  • Mcs Mcs on Jan 17, 2022

    "Almost All Teens in ICU With COVID Were Unvaccinated, Study Shows"

    • Slavuta Slavuta on Jan 17, 2022

      ya-ya-ya Thanks for giving a link to a closed material... But since in the visible part it said, materials are based on the New England Med Journal, I vent there, found the study. "Among the case patients, the median age was 16 years, 74% had at least one underlying condition (including obesity), ... Among the controls, the median age was 15 years, 70% had at least one underlying condition..." A-ha!!! This study was made on many children witch medical issues. And unfortunately they don't tell, which ones died. What issues they had. Obesity is told to be the important issue with Covid. And of course, the study is by Dr Patel, from CDC. Hey - thanks a lot. CDC is disqualified.

  • Readallover I always found it hilarious that my parents`friends who paid up for the luxury and exclusivity of a M-B were shocked and disappointed when they went to Europe and found their car was significantly cheaper AND widely used as cabs over there.
  • Laszlo I own a 1969 falcon futura 4 door hardtop, original inline 6 and c4 transmission and it still runs to this day.
  • BklynPete So let's get this straight: Ford hyped up the Bronco for 3 years, yet couldn't launch it to match the crazy initial demand. They released it with numerous QC issues, made hay for its greedy dealers, and burned customers in the process. After all that, they lose money on warranties. The vehicles turn out to be a worse ownership experience than the Jeep Wrangler, which hasn't been a paragon of reliability for 50 years. The same was true of the Aviator, Explorer, several F-150 variants, and other recent product launches. The Maverick is the only thing they got right. Yet this company that's been at it for 120 years. Just Brilliant. Jim Farley's non-PR speak: "You don't get to call me an idiot. I get to call myself an idiot first."Farley truly seems hapless, like the characters his late cousin played. Bill Ford is a nice guy but more than a bit slow on the uptake too. They have not had anything resembling a quality CEO since Alan Mulally turned the keys over to Mark Fields - the mulleted glamor boy who got canned after 3 years when the PowerShi(f)t transaxles exploded. He more recently helped run Hertz into the ground with bad QC and a faulty database that had them arresting customers. Ford is starting to resemble Chrysler in the mid-Seventies Sales Bank era. Well, at least VW has cash and envies Ford's distribution reach and potential profitability.
  • Mike Beranek This guy called and wants his business model back.
  • SCE to AUX The solid state battery is vaporware.As for software-limited pack capacity: Batteries are obviously the most expensive component of an EV, so on the rare occasion that pack capacity is dramatically limited (as in your 6-year-old example), it's because economies of scale briefly made sense at the time.Mfrs are not in the habit of overbuilding pack capacity just for fun, and then charging the customer less.Since then, pack capacities have been slightly increased via software because the mfr decides they can sacrifice a little bit of the normal safety/wear margin in the interest of range. We're talking single-digit percentages, not the 60/75 kWh jump in your example.Every pack has maybe 10% margin built into it, so eating into that today (via range increases) means it's not available to make up for battery degradation tomorrow. My 4-year-old EV still has its original range(s) and 100% SOH, but that's surely because it is slowly consuming the margin built into the pack.@Matt Posky: Not everything is a conspiracy to get your credit card account, and the lengthy editorial about this has nothing to do with solid state batteries.