OSHA Mandate Enforced For Healthcare Workers, Not Businesses
As U.S citizens return to work, the political and business scene finds itself awash with news headlines that spell out the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to block President Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate for businesses.
However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate still stands strong for those working within the healthcare sector.
It’s Business As Usual For Those Returning To Work, Except For Those In Healthcare
Similarly, as seen in parents and children returning to school, the government and health authorities have set out extra measures to ensure the health and safety of those now entering populated environments.
The OSHA mandate states that Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) are to be put in place to minimize the high risk of COVID transmission in the workplace. Specifically, businesses with 100 or more employees.
Binding requirements are established to also protect unvaccinated employees of a large business from contracting COVID in the workplace. With new evidence of breakthrough infections and reinfections suffered by vaccinated individuals, the mandate now also applies to this group as well.
While key requirements that ETS would seem applicable and necessary in high Omicron times, The U.S. Supreme Court has, however, blocked the mandate and the following requirements which it sets out: minimum vaccination; vaccination verification; face covering, and testing requirements. Now, the Biden administration is blocked from enforcing its vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies.
However, while the vaccine-or-test requirements can no longer sweep across the company boardrooms, the conservative-majority court has however permitted a vaccine mandate to stand strong for medical facilities. More specifically, those that take Medicare or Medicaid payments must abide by the new regulations.
In The Face Of A Raging Pandemic, Occupational Dangers Need To Be Regulated
In the past, OSHA was given the go-ahead by Congress to regulate occupational dangers. Now, following the court’s review of the vaccine-or-test requirements and the subsequently required vaccination of 84 million U.S. citizens, the court feels this is too broad for OSHA.
According to news sources, the court views OSHA’s vaccine mandate as a move beyond worker safety protection. This is because if worker safety is done in all businesses and within every workplace, an effective response would be impossible.
While the raging pandemic needs optimal, broad occupational health regulation to avoid danger and risk, this rightfully belongs to others in the opinion of the court. Should they have allowed the mandate to be implemented, the capacity of the responsible federal officials acting well within the authorized scope would be undercut.
Biden’s Response And Call For Voluntary Institution Of Vaccination Requirements
Biden feels the vaccine mandate and the associated requirements are life-saving. He further encouraged business owners and employers to voluntarily institute vaccination requirements. For Biden and his administration, it’s about advocating for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and the economy overall.
As some parties believe the court’s decision was a setback for health and safety, others believe it was a disappointment. Currently, many opposing views are being splashed across headlines, with groups siding for or against the court’s decision.
While businesses may see future changes to the OSHA mandate situation, current times for those in healthcare see a firm standing of the vaccine mandate.
Much Can Be Said About Reactions, But What Matters Is Proaction
Much can be seen in terms of political debate and opinion regarding the court’s decision. Some feel it is impossible for the Federal Government to show Congress’ authorization of vaccinating more than 10,000,000 workers in the healthcare sector. Others feel it unfair to fire those who choose not to get vaccinated, with some employers insisting that those who remain unvaccinated be fired.
Biden, on the other hand, expressed his approval of the vaccine requirement for healthcare workers. He said it would save the lives of patients, doctors, and nurses. Carrying on in Biden’s approval, some feel the OSHA mandate is a victory.
Nevertheless, the reaction that matters is that of the employee and worker. Employers, employees, and public health experts are thus recommended to follow practical ways to increase vaccination rates and mitigate the spread of the virus.
Currently, all businesses, employees, and employers are urged to follow public safety requirements and do whatever possible to ensure health and safety when returning to work.