A SHOT AT RETAIL: The National Retail Federation has responded to two federal district court rulings relating to the Biden administration’s efforts to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s employer-based companies.
Senior vice president of government relations David French said: “The NRF is disappointed that the Sixth Circuit has decided to lift the stay instituted by the Fifth Circuit. The NRF will consider additional legal options. We also continue to prepare our members to comply with this onerous mandate.”
The NRF and other trade associations appealed to the Supreme Court Friday night, an NRF spokeswoman said Saturday.
The NRF estimates that the order will impact approximately 3.7 million retail workers at OSHA employers with 100 employees or more, the spokeswoman said. That figure does not include corporate offices, she added.
In a statement released Friday night, the organization urged the Biden administration to delay the timeline of the implementation of the Emergency Temporary Standards. “We can work together to find visible ways to increase vaccination rates and mitigate the spread of the virus in 2022,” French said.
With coronavirus cases spiking and the Omicron variant spreading across the country — and beyond U.S. borders — many governments, universities, organizations, companies and smaller businesses have been taking more precautions in recent days. The National Football League and National Basketball Association have postponed select upcoming games, Broadway shows like “Mrs. Doubtfire” have temporarily shuttered and the Radio City Rockettes have canceled their “Christmas Spectacular” performances for the remainder of the year. Movie theaters, high school sporting venues, stores, malls and shopping centers remain largely open.
French’s statement noted that the NRF “has long maintained that OSHA, in promulgating it’s Vaccine Mandate Emergency Temporary Standard, exceeded the authority granted to it by Congress in 1970 and crafted a rule that is infeasible for employers to implement during the official holiday season.”
The NRF is the largest global retail trade association. The retail sector is the largest private-sector employer in the U.S. and contributes $3.9 trillion to the annual gross domestic product.
In addition, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently decided to stay a nationwide mandate that had been put in place by the Western District Court of Louisiana at the end of last month. The district had banned the enforcement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services COVID-19 vaccine mandate among other things. The injunction allows the federal government to go forward with its efforts to implement the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in 24 states. A second federal court order was issued Friday in Texas that bars the federal government from implementing the CMS vaccine mandate in the state of Texas. As of now, the Biden administration is authorized to roll out the CMS vaccine mandate in 25 states.