For companies that were waiting to hear from the U.S. Supreme Court before deciding whether to require vaccinations or regular coronavirus testing for workers, the next move is up to them.
Many large corporations were silent on Thursday’s ruling by the high court to block a requirement that workers at businesses with at least 100 employees be fully vaccinated or else test regularly for COVID-19 and wear a mask on the job.
Target’s response was typical: The big retailer said it wanted to review the decision and “how it will impact our team and business.”
The Biden administration argues that nothing in federal law prevents private businesses from imposing their own vaccine requirements.
However, companies could run into state bans on vaccine mandates in Republican-controlled states. And relatively few businesses enacted their own rules ahead of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirement, raising doubt that there will be rush for them now.
In legal terms, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority said the OSHA lacked authority to impose such a mandate on big companies. The court, however, let stand a vaccination requirement for most healthcare workers.
The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade organization and one of the groups that challenged the OSHA action, called the court’s decision “a significant victory for employers.” It complained that OSHA acted without first allowing public comments, although administration officials met with many business and labor groups before issuing the rule.