OSHA is suspending enforcement of the government's new employer vaccine rule


By Aimee Picchi, CBS News

November 18, 2021


The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it is suspending its enforcement of the Biden administration's new rules ordering larger employers to either require that their workers get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.


OSHA, which posted the announcement on its website, added that it "remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies."


The agency's decision to stop implementing and enforcing the new rule comes after a federal appeals court earlier this month temporarily halted the Biden administration's vaccine rule, citing potential "grave statutory and constitutional issues." The future of the government directive remains uncertain, with the case headed to the Sixth Circuit Court in Ohio, which the National Law Review says comprises a majority of Republican-appointed judges.


Meanwhile, businesses across the nation are facing uncertainty over the new vaccine rule, a 490-page order with complex requirements that experts say will require time and effort to ensure compliance. Under the original plan, by December 5 employers with more than 100 employees must choose whether their workers get fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing...


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Concerns expressed on USDA employees' vaccine mandate

FSIS inspectors and local FSA staff must be vaccinated starting Nov. 22 or face termination.


Jacqui Fatka, Beef Magazine

Nov 17, 2021


Requirements that all federal employees must receive a COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 22 or face termination have those in the food supply chain concerned about a shortage of federal inspectors as well as employees at USDA offices.


A letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Turkey Federation raised concerns about the effects on USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and other USDA personnel from the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.


Implementation of the mandate, the organizations point out, may lead to a loss of some FSIS meat inspectors, resulting in packing plant disruptions and closures. They note that the meatpacking industry already has limited harvest capacity because of increasing demand for meat and poultry, a severe labor shortage in rural communities and pandemic-related supply chain challenges.


“We cannot emphasize enough how detrimental even minor disruptions in processing capacity and other critical USDA functions may be, as we cannot afford to exacerbate existing supply chain issues at such a fragile point in our recovery,” the letter states.


The agricultural groups ask for “clarification on how USDA will mitigate potential disruptions in staffing with the implementation of this [vaccine] directive.”


In early October, Vilsack...


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