Supreme Court blocks vaccine mandate

vaccine mandate NLBMDA

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated a stay on the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA COVID-19 vaccination and testing temporary standard. The Thursday decision by the Supreme Court means the Biden administration does not have authority to enact vaccination or testing requirements for employers.

In an email to members earlier in the week, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association pointed out that while the Supreme Court heard arguments on Jan. 7, the requirements of OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) were in effect until today’s ruling.

The American Building Materials Alliance (ABMA) saluted the Supreme Court’s decision. In a press release, ABMA Legislative Committee Chair Joe Cecarelli said, “Since its announcement, the ABMA has denounced the OSHA Vaccine and Testing ETS as a costly and burdensome mandate on the LBM industry. Today’s ruling is a win for both employers and employees.

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“Dealing with supply chain and workforce challenges are difficult enough during the pan- demic, and the ETS would have added another painful obstacle toward maintaining a suc- cessful business in this country. Today’s commonsense ruling recognizes that the mandate was overly broad and a clear overstep of OSHA’s authority.”

“OSHA is now blocked from enforcing all provisions in the ETS while it will be reconsidered by the Sixth Circuit. OSHA has not yet responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling. NLBMDA will be providing additional updates as they become available,” the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) wrote in an email to members announcing the court’s decision.

Associated Builders and Contractors also applauded the decision. Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor, and state affairs said, “ABC is pleased that the Supreme Court blocked OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS. ABC is proud to have played an important role in preventing OSHA from causing irreparable harm to the construction industry.

“This is a big win in removing compliance hurdles for the construction industry, which is facing multiple economic challenges, including a workforce shortage of 430,000, rising materials prices and supply chain issues. ABC continues to support vaccinations and encourages members to use its COVID-19 vaccination toolkit to keep workers safe on construction jobsites.”

Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla., issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 to stay the Biden administration’s enforcement of a COVID-19 vaccine or testing mandate for large employers:

“In issuing its decision, the Supreme Court stated that ‘OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate’ and that Congress has ‘declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here.’ The Supreme Court ruling shows that OSHA clearly exceeded its authority by attempting to force more than 84 million workers to get COVID-19 vaccinations or compel them to submit to regular testing. NAHB strongly supports the efforts of the federal government to get as many Americans vaccinated as possible and has actively encouraged our members to make vaccines available to their workers. But using OSHA as the primary mechanism for this effort exceeds its statutory authority as a workplace safety agency.”

In a separate ruling issued the same day, the court lifted injunctions that had been issued against the CMS vaccination mandate applicable to health care institutions and their suppliers and contractors.

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