WASHINGTON DC — The Biden administration has officially withdrawn a rule that would have required workers to get vaccinated.
The rule would have required either proof of vaccination or regular COVID testing requirements.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed the withdrawal, but did strongly encourage workers to get vaccinated.
In early November, OSHA had announced the mandate for companies with at least 100 employees, which would have impacted more than 80 million workers nationwide and was originally set to go into effect on Jan. 4.
Numerous states and businesses challenged the rule in court and on Jan. 13, the Supreme Court halted the plan and voted in a 6-3 ruling that OSHA had overstepped its authority.
“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate,” the court’s majority wrote. “Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here.”
The justices did leave a vaccine mandate for healthcare providers who receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding in place that affects 10.4 million workers.
OSHA indicated that the rule could return in some form and while it is no longer an enforceable standard, it remains a proposed rule. For now, the agency said it will prioritize the health care mandate.