Vaccine mandate for businesses with 100+ workers now in effect as SCOTUS mulls decision

WASHINGTON — Part of the federal vaccine mandate for companies with over 100 employees went into effect Monday as a decision on some of the legal challenges to the mandate remain in the Supreme Court.

>>PREVIOUS REPORT: Vaccine mandate for employers of 100+ starts next week; Supreme Court hears case Friday

President Joe Biden’s mandate went into effect Monday that requires companies with 100 or more workers to have a fully vaccinated staff, or comply masking and with regular testing. However the implementation of the policy comes as the nation’s high court could make a decision on the policy at any time.

>>RELATED: Supreme Court weighs legality of Biden administration’s vaccine mandates

Oral arguments were heard Friday in the SCOTUS about the legal challenge to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s mandate for the vaccine. While the mandate goes into effect Monday, OHSA has said enforcement of the mandate will be rolled-out slowly while waiting on a decision from the Supreme Court.

If the mandate stands after the SCOTUS ruling, OHSA will start issuing citations starting in February to companies that don’t comply with the order. Fines from the citations could be as much at $14,000 per violation.

With the policy going into effect today, justices could make a quick decision on the legal challenge, according to Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, Cedarville University’s Director of the Center for Political Studies.

“Given the deadline today, as for it going into effect and that companies are having to make decisions right now about how to handle it, I think the court’s going to act really quickly. It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw a decision of some kind today. Maybe a temporary stay while they put an opinion together. But it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw something very quickly in the next day or two,” Smith told News Center 7′s John Bedell.

Some area businesses that the mandate applies to told Bedell they are making plans to comply with the mandate until, or unless, the SCOTUS makes a ruling against it.