The Biden administration is withdrawing its Covid-19 vaccination and testing rules for private businesses with 100 or more employees effective Wednesday following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Jan. 13 ruling that blocked the regulations.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday said it is withdrawing the vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard that it issued on Nov. 5 to protect unvaccinated employees of large businesses with 100 or more employees from workplace exposure to coronavirus, according to a department statement.
Despite withdrawing its Covid-19 vaccination and testing rules, OSHA is not withdrawing the emergency temporary standard as a proposed rule, it said in the statement. The agency it will continue working to finalize a permanent Covid-19 healthcare standard.
“I am disappointed in the court’s decision, which is a major setback to the health and safety of workers across the country,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said in a statement on Jan. 13 after the Supreme Court ruling. “OSHA stands by the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard as the best way to protect the nation’s workforce from a deadly virus that is infecting more than 750,000 Americans each day and has taken the lives of nearly a million Americans.”
The Supreme Court ruling removed the Biden administration’s authority to regulate vaccinations and testing for large companies, but businesses still have the option of implementing their own rules and many have them in place.
Among the large public companies that have mandated Covid-19 vaccinations for employees are most of the major airlines, including United Airlines (UAL) – Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report, American Airlines (AAL) – Get American Airlines Group, Inc. Report, Delta Air Lines (DAL) – Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report, Alaska Air Group (ALK) – Get Alaska Air Group, Inc. Report and JetBlu Airways (JBLU) – Get JetBlue Airways Corporation Report.
Big tech companies, including Alphabet’s (GOOGL) – Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report Google, Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report and IBM (IBM) – Get International Business Machines Corporation Report, and Wall Street firms Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup (C) – Get Citigroup Inc. Report and Blackstone (BX) – Get Blackstone Inc. Report all have vaccination requirements as well.