The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put a hold on enforcing the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for private employers after a federal appeals court temporarily stopped the measure last week.
A statement released by the agency outlines that, "While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation."
Last week, a three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that "a stay is firmly in the public interest" as the number of lawsuits against the measure increases.
The judges determined that the mandate is "fatally flawed," "staggeringly over-broad," and raises "serious constitutional concerns."
Biden's order would have gone into effect on Jan. 4 under an emergency temporary standard from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
It calls for businesses to either require vaccinations or weekly testing for unvaccinated employees, and employees would pay for those tests.
Businesses that don't find a way to enforce the mandate will face a $14,000 fine per violation, which would increase with repeat offenses.
First Liberty Institute, which represents several religious organizations that filed suit against the government, vowed to continue the fight against the mandate.
"The OSHA rule is blatant government overreach, massively unconstitutional, and threatens the freedom of working Americans," said Lea Patterson, Counsel for First Liberty Institute. "As religious organizations, our clients cannot in good conscience force their own employees to violate their deeply held beliefs regarding vaccines. We will fight to make sure this mandate is struck down permanently."
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