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Supreme Court overturns OSHA mandate, affects 2/3 of all US workers

Poynter – Al Tompkins: “The quick version of the story is this: A majority of Supreme Court justices ruled that if Congress wishes for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to be able to require private-sector workers to be vaccinated or undergo testing, then Congress should say so in legislation. Short of that, the court said, OSHA has the authority to regulate workplace safety but not public health, and a vaccine/testing requirement is an issue of public health. The court did leave the door open for OSHA to regulate workplaces where COVID-19 represents a direct threat, such as places where people work close to others or where they work around vulnerable individuals. So who is still covered by federal vaccine mandates? CNET’s list includes:

  • Federal workers and employees of contractors that do business with the federal government will be required to be vaccinated
  • The Department of Health and Human Services will require vaccinations in Head Start programs, as well as schools run by the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Indian Education.
  • Workers in health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, including hospitals and home health agencies, will also have to be fully vaccinated.
  • Individuals applying to become lawful permanent US residents must be fully vaccinated, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • All 1.3 million active-duty service members

Go here if you want to read my deeper dive on this topic. I share excerpts of what the court decided in its ruling on the lawsuit — which was filed by businesses and officials from 27 states — and why dissenting justices so passionately opposed the ruling. I also explain why the court’s ruling does not overturn local and state mandates and that employers are still free to require vaccinations — with some limitations. (Ballotpedia points out, “20 states, all with Republican governors, prohibit proof-of-vaccination requirements. In eleven states, governors banned proof-of-vaccination requirements through executive orders. In nine states, legislators passed laws banning proof-of-vaccination requirements.”)…”

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