US Appeals Court Freezes Biden's Vaccine Requirement for Businesses

© REUTERS / MIKE SEGARA woman screams as people and teachers protest against New York City mandated vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in front of the United States Court in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A woman screams as people and teachers protest against New York City mandated vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in front of the United States Court in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.11.2021
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Under Joe Biden's plan, businesses with 100 or more employees are supposed to require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has suspended a mandate issued by the Biden administration to require employees at US businesses with 100 or more workers be vaccinated against coronavirus or be tested weekly.
In its ruling, the court cited "grave statutory and constitutional" issues with the requirement.
The new rule was set to come into force on 4 January. Failure to comply could result in penalties of almost $14,000 per violation.
The decision was made after a number of American states sued the Biden administration in an attempt to halt vaccine mandates for big businesses.
The attorneys general of 11 states from New Hampshire to Alaska filed a lawsuit Friday, descriving the mandate as "unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise."
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the authorization of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 3, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.11.2021
AGs in 11 US States File Lawsuit Over Biden’s Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Workplaces
The suit argued that the authority to compel vaccination rests with the states, not the federal government.
The attorneys general of seven more states filed a separate petition in a bid to have a federal appeals court block the mandate. The states of Texas and Florida announced legal action against the federal government on Friday, while three states sued the federal government Thursday to freeze the vaccine requirement for federal contractors.
"Today, citizens of Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee face the prospect of losing their jobs and livelihoods due to an unprecedented power grab by the Federal government. It is hardly a choice to tell a single mother that she must be vaccinated or lose the financial resources to feed her children," the filing from the three states reads.
The Biden administration has been encouraging widespread vaccinations against the coronavirus as the quickest and safest way out of the pandemic. The vaccine mandate for federal employees and contractors and private businesses was first announced in September, but the details and timeline on the requirement for those working for large private companies were clarified this Thursday.
The plan has long faced opposition from Republican-run states, which urged Biden to reconsider his decision following the initial announcement in September. They described the vaccine mandate and regular COVID-19 tests for employees as "disastrous and counterproductive."
A sign pointing to a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination clinic stands in Southfield, Michigan, U.S., September 29, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.10.2021
Coalition of US States Sue Biden Admin. to Halt Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors
Last month, a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that as many as 72 percent of unvaccinated American workers were ready to quit their job should their employers mandate vaccination against the coronavirus without an option to get tested weekly instead.
If a testing option were to be offered by their employer, only 37 percent of unvaccinated said they would quit, while 11 percent said they would rather get the shot, and 46 percent would opt for weekly testing. If presented with the option of either getting a vaccine or being tested every week, 5 percent of all US adults say they would leave their job, and 9 percent would leave if no testing options were offered, according to the poll. Only 1 percent of all US adults said they have already quit their job because their employer had introduced a vaccine mandate.
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