Three companies and Missouri’s attorney general are asking the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to stay the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more employees.
The three companies—Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company, Sixarp, and Oberg Industries—filed an emergency application (pdf) for an injunction on Dec. 17, saying that the Biden administration is pursuing unlimited federal executive power in the vaccine mandate for private businesses.
“There is no dispute among the parties about the common desire to end the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the application reads. “The arguments advanced by the Executive Branch admit to no cognizable limits on federal executive power.
“Frustrated with a minority of Americans’ medical choices, the Executive Branch has attempted to control and surveil the vaccination schedules of enormous swaths of the country’s population.”
The three companies, which all have more than 100 employees, would have to implement the vaccine mandate if it’s not stopped by the courts. The mandate will also jeopardize the companies’ already struggling recruitment efforts, the three applicants stated in the application.
Eric Schmitt, attorney general of Missouri, also asked SCOTUS to stay the Biden administration’s sweeping vaccine mandate.
“This was always destined to go to the nation’s highest court and I’ll continue to fight back against this breathtaking overreach,” he wrote in a Twitter post.
Representatives for SCOTUS, the Biden administration, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) didn’t respond to requests for comment by press time.
This is the latest effort by some companies and Republican-run states to stop President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed it to take effect late on Dec. 17.
The vaccine requirements for private businesses issued by OSHA meant that roughly 84 million U.S. workers faced a Jan. 4 deadline to get vaccinated before it was paused.
Under the rule, employees who aren’t fully vaccinated would have to wear masks and be tested on a weekly basis for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19. Exceptions would apply to those who work outdoors or work from home.
The OSHA rule threatens fines of up to $13,600 per violation. It also threatens to fine an additional $13,600 per day that an employer doesn’t abate the violation. For a willful or serious violation, OSHA can issue a fine of up to $136,000.
After the ruling by the 6th Circuit Court, OSHA set Jan. 10 as the deadline for companies with 100 or more employees to comply with the rule.
OSHA said in a statement on Dec. 18 that it wouldn’t be issuing citations to businesses for noncompliance with any requirements of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate for private companies employing 100 or more people until Jan. 10. It also won’t issue any citations for noncompliance with the mandate’s testing requirements until Feb. 9.
Mimi Nguyen Ly and Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.