- Last week the OSHA and CMS detailed a new vaccine mandate.
- However, a new temporary hold on the ruling could impact the Biden Administration’s vaccination aspirations.
- While workers have the right to refuse the vaccine, employers equally have the right to let these workers go.
Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) detailed a new vaccine mandate that could have the power to alter current COVID-19 conditions across large businesses in the United States.
However, a new temporary hold on the ruling could impact the Biden Administration’s vaccination aspirations.
OSHA’s new mandate would require employers with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated or be subject to routine testing, impacting around 84 million workers. Through this new rule, companies would have to offer paid time off for workers to get vaccinated or enforce mask-wearing for those who are unvaccinated.
CMS’ new mandate would see healthcare workers at facilities that partake in Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated, which would impact over 17 million employees across 76,000 healthcare facilities.
Reactions to the new ruling have been mixed to say the least, but after a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana put a temporary block on the executive order, questions have risen about its future.
“The president will not impose medical procedures on the American people without the checks and balances afforded by the constitution,” said Jeff Landry, Louisiana’s Attorney General.
Prior to the details of the executive order emerging, companies and organizations across the country have already seen workers push back against any type of vaccination mandate, stating that these rules exceed their authority.
The ruling walks a tightrope: while workers have the right to refuse the vaccine, employers equally have the right to let these workers go.
And that they have.
Numerous employees have either been fired or quit their jobs in response to not getting a COVID-19 vaccine. For instance, Washington state has seen around 1,900 state workers either resign or be laid off for refusing the vaccine.
As controversial as it may seem, ruling’s such as the Biden Administration’s are not uncommon during health crises.
In fact, the first vaccine mandate in the U.S. occurred in 1809 to stave off spread of smallpox, while the 1905 Supreme Court Case Jacobson v. Massachusetts upheld states’ authority to enforce vaccine laws.
In short, mandatory vaccination laws are not new to U.S. history, nor do they appear to be illicit in the eyes of the Constitution. Still, many COVID-related protocols continue to be met by significant resistance in certain regions across the country.
President Joe Biden made increasing vaccination rates a key component of his campaign last year and has continued to emphasize the importance since taking office in January, citing that vaccination mandates would “promote a faster and stronger economic recovery.”