White House giving big companies extra time to comply with vaccine mandate amid legal uncertainty

 NYC Vaccine Mandates
Posted at 10:25 AM, Dec 18, 2021

The Biden administration said Saturday that it would allow companies with at least 100 employees more time to comply with a rule that requires them to mandate vaccinations or regular testing among its workers.

In a statement on Saturday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it would allow companies more time to implement changes "to account for any uncertainty" amid the legal drama behind the mandate.

The announcement came hours after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the Biden Administration policy could take effect. That decision overruled the Fifth Circuit, which in November ordered that implementation of the policy be halted while courts considered its legality.

The rules force companies with more than 100 workers to require vaccinations among their employees. Workers who do not get a shot must wear a mask and submit to weekly COVID-19 tests. The policy was originally supposed to go into effect on Jan. 4

On Saturday, OSHA said it would not issue penalties to companies not in compliance with the rule before Jan. 10. In addition, OSHA is also giving companies an extra month to set up regular testing options for unvaccinated employees, adding that it won't issue citations regarding testing until Feb. 9.

The Supreme Court is likely to weigh in on the rule in the weeks ahead.