The Biden administration proposed the rule requiring vaccines or weekly COVID-19 tests for employees at companies with over 100 employees. However, it is blocked by the Supreme Court. Now, Biden puts the decision to states and employers.
The mandate was deemed "an improper imposition" by the conservative justices, as it was created by the Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to regulate workplace safety. The scope was too broad, and it oversteps the boundaries of OSHA's authorities and "significantly expand OSHA's regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization".
"Covid-19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather," wrote the majority of the court. "It is a significant encroachment on the lives - and health - of a vast number of employees."
However, a similar mandate for healthcare workers was approved, as it was deemed more limited and did not pose the same concern.
The court was divided into both cases. It ruled 6-3, with the majority comprised of six conservative justices. Should the Biden administration pass, it could be implemented to more than 80 million employees. Meanwhile, the vote was 5-4 to allow the healthcare worker rule, which requires about 10.3 million workers at 76,000 healthcare facilities to get vaccinated.
President Biden also added that the decision to allow the healthcare worker mandate "will save lives", and will be imposed soon. Workers then must be vaccinated by the end of next month.