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

The first deadline for the Biden Administration’s vaccine-or-testing mandate for companies with more than 100 employees is next week, but the mandate will be at the center of a special U.S. Supreme Court hearing Friday.

The mandate, which would be enforced by OSHA, would require companies with more than 100 employees to make sure workers are fully vaccinated or require unvaccinated workers to wear masks and show a negative COVID-19 test once a week.

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The mandate has been challenged in federal courts for months. First, a federal judge paused it, but then a three-judge panel in a different federal court put it back on with its own decision.

“Well we’ve got a game plan in and we’re going to follow all the rules,” said Kevin Burch, Vice President of Government Affairs at Martin Transportation Systems in “We want our professional men and women drivers to be safe and healthy. So we encourage them to get the vaccine.”

Burch said the trucking company is watching the mandate rulings closely, but worries about losing drivers because of it.

He said the company is worried about losing drivers to companies that have fewer than 100 employees, where the mandate wouldn’t apply. He also is concerned about just losing drivers from the industry in general, especially with the country already facing a trucker shortage.

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““I would hate to lose people on that. But also drivers they may go some other direction,” Burch said.

Marc Clauson, who is a Cedarville University law professor and lawyer, said its unclear what the Supreme Court may do in this case.

“This is my non-crystal ball prediction: I think the court will probably hold against OSHA. However, it’s not a done deal – you never really know. And so the businesses don’t know that either. So they have to be ready, and they should be ready to at least begin to implement their vaccine policy or their testing policy after January 10,” Clauson said.

Due to the urgency of the case, Clauson said he expects the Supreme Court to release its decision in as soon as three weeks.