The Supreme Court of the United States has knocked down this Thursday the law of the Administration of the president, Joe Biden, which forced large companies to require their workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, or at least present periodic negative tests, as well as to wear a mask at work, although it has approved the standard for public health service workers.
“Although Congress has given OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) the power to legislate workplace hazards, it has not given that agency the power to legislate public health more broadly” and “Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans because they work for companies with more than 100 employees falls into the latter category,” argued the conservative majority of the Supreme Court.
For their part, the progressive judges have harshly criticized the decision made by their colleagues since their ruling does not allow OSHA to “respond in the most effective way possible” to a pandemic that continues to advance and take more lives. “This Court is telling the agency charged with protecting the safety of workers that it may not be able to do it in all jobs,” they have censored, reports CNN.
The decision has also been regretted by President Biden, who through a statement has shown his “disappointment” at the blocking of a norm based on “law and science” that seeks to “save lives.” As a consequence, he points out, “it is now up to states and employers to determine if their workplaces are safe for both their employees and their customers” and has defended the need to work together if this pandemic is to be left behind.
However, Biden has celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to apply said law to federal health service workers. That, he stressed, “will save lives”, those of “patients seeking care (…), as well as those of doctors, nurses and other workers. The head of the White House has explained that the measure involves vaccination 10.4 million workers, spread over 76,000 facilities.
The measure of the Biden Administration sought to benefit some 80 million people who today work in companies with more than one hundred workers, the only ones that would be affected by the rule, which required employers to ensure that their employees had been vaccinated, or at least submit periodic negative tests for coronavirus, as well as to use the mask, with some exceptions of a religious nature.