The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Friday reaffirmed its decision to temporarily halt the Biden administration’s mandate for large private employers to require their workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or face weekly Covid-19 testing while litigation against it proceeds, citing financial risks and potential harm to companies under the rule.
A three-judge panel of the conservative-dominated court said in its ruling that the mandate “threatens to decimate” private employers’ workforces and business prospects by forcing employees to choose between getting vaccinated or leaving their jobs, and exposes private employers to “financial risk” due to fines if they decide not to comply.
The panel also disputed the Labor Department’s claim that it is able to issue the mandate on the basis of protecting workers because they are “subjected to a grave danger” with Covid-19, saying that the virus is only more dangerous to “some employees” rather than others, depending on their immunity.
The court said the mandate also creates concerns of “separation of powers” and if the mandate has the power to control a persons’ actions in their workplace.
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ affirmation comes after the Biden Administration asked the court to lift its stay on the mandate, saying stopping its implementation “would likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day.” Under the mandate, companies have to make sure their employees are completely vaccinated by January 4 or require them to submit to weekly Covid-19 tests. The lawsuit in Louisiana is just one from over a dozen states across the U.S. challenging the rules under theOccupational Safety and Health Administration.
Between $13,653 to $136,532. That is how much companies may be fined if they do not comply with the mandate, according to the OSHA website.