A US federal appeals court on Saturday halted the Biden administration’s efforts to require workers at US companies with at least 100 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or “serious statutory and constitutional” issues with the rule. Referring should be done weekly testing.
The decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit comes after several Republican-led states filed legal challenges against the new rule, which is set to take effect on January 4.
The White House declined to comment on the ruling, and sent questions to the Department of Labor, where a spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This stay comes two days after the Biden administration unveiled the rule, which was immediately met with pledges of legal action from Republican governors and others, who argued it went beyond the administration’s legal authority.
Officials said the action on private-sector vaccinations was done under the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency authority on workplace safety. According to OSHA, this rule applies to 84.2 million workers among the 1.9 million private sector employers.
Saturday’s court order came in response to a joint petition by several businesses, advocacy groups and the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah. The rule also faces distinct legal challenges before other courts.
The two-page order directs the Biden administration to respond to a request for a permanent injunction against the rule by 5 p.m. Monday.