Supreme Court blocks vaccine mandate
By D.Ann Shiffler14 January 2022
SC&RA’s Joel Dandrea said the victory at the Supreme Court will allow it’s members to focus on the vital and critical work they perform.
The United States Supreme Court blocked the enforcement of a mandate that required that workers at businesses with more than 100 employees get vaccinated or submit a Covid test weekely to enter the workplace. The decision was made three days after Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency measure took effect. It also required unvaccinated workers to wear masks indoors at work. In an unsigned opinion, the court wrote: “Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly.”
Construction and business organizations such as the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) heralded the ruling as a victory.
SC&RA CEO Joel Dandrea said in a statement: “SC&RA celebrates this victory against federal overreach. For months we have been working with 25 other associations, as part of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, to fight the OSHA emergency temporary standard. It has been our position that the construction industry is low-risk for COVID-19, and that this Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) would exacerbate workforce shortages and create extraordinary burdens on the employer and employee in regards to obligations for vaccinations and testing and recordability of adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. The cost of paid time off for vaccinations and adverse reactions were additional concerns with this ETS. Our members lift and move the world and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has confirmed the U.S. crane, rigging, and specialized transportation industry and its workers as Essential Critical Infrastructure. We will continue to fight for the ability of our members to do business without unnecessary government interference, like the OSHA vaccine mandate. The victory at the Supreme Court today will allow our members to focus on the vital and critical work they perform every day, in every community, across this country.”
The Court did allow a vaccine mandate to stand for medical facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid payments.