Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Friday, November 19, 2021

White House says businesses should continue vaccination plans amid legal fight

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 10:35 AM

  • Photo courtesy Joe Biden/Facebook

The White House is urging businesses to move forward with efforts to vaccinate workers, though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has put on hold a controversial rule after an order by a federal appeals court.

Let me be very clear, our message to businesses right now is to move forward with measures that will make their workplaces safer and protect their workforces from COVID-19,”White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. “That was our message after the first stay issued by the Fifth Circuit (the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals). That remains our message. And nothing has changed.”

Numerous states, including Florida, and businesses have filed legal challenges to the OSHA rule, which would apply to employers with 100 or more workers. Those workers would have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or test negative at least once a week. But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, issued an order last Friday reaffirming a stay it had placed on the rule, which had been scheduled to take effect Jan. 4.

OSHA announced Wednesday that it would suspend “activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the (rule) pending future developments in the litigation.” Florida’s challenge has been consolidated with others in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in Cincinnati. Psaki said the U.S. Department of Justice is “vigorously” defending the vaccination rule, known as an emergency temporary standard, “and we are confident in OSHA's authority.”

Psaki said recent polling has shown 60 percent of businesses are moving forward with COVID-19 measures intended to keep workplaces safe.

“They're essentially implementing components or versions of these vaccine requirements, because they know it's in the interest of their workforces to protect their workforces to make sure they can bring more people back to the workforce,” she said. “And we certainly see that as a positive sign. So, we are still heading towards the same timeline.”

During a special legislative session, Florida lawmakers on Wednesday approved a series of measures intended to counter vaccination mandates. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bills Thursday.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation