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Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Businesses—Here’s What That Means for You

CNBC's Make It

The Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate Thursday, which would have required workers at large private companies be vaccinated against Covid-19 or be regularly tested for the virus.

The decision, which impacts employers with 100 or more employees, comes days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency measure started to take effect Monday.


The news won’t change much for workers, says Jason Reisman, a labor attorney for Blank Rome in Philadelphia.

Workers who choose not to be vaccinated will likely not see a requirement from their employer if it was waiting for the outcome of the ruling. Those with religious or medical exemptions will remain exempt.

“The impact on people who are vaccinated is that there will just continue to be unvaccinated people around you,” Reisman says.


Employers may turn greater attention toward frequent testing, indoor masking and encouraging people to stay home while sick.

Thursday’s decision doesn’t fully resolve whether the OSHA rule can go into place, Reisman adds. The rule now goes back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, which said the federal vaccine mandate appeared to be lawful. The decision will likely go back to the Supreme Court in the next few months.

“This battle will continue,” he says.

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"Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Businesses—Here’s What That Means for You," by Jennifer Liu was published in CNBC's Make It on January 12, 2022.