Posted by on January 14, 2022 4:09 pm
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GE ends vaccine and testing requirements after Supreme Court strikes down Biden mandate

While there's an initial cost from the tax bill, GE's Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller said the company likes the new business framework. (Thibault Camus/AP)

GE ends vaccine and testing requirements after Supreme Court strikes down Biden mandate

Zachary Halaschak January 14, 03:49 PMJanuary 14, 03:49 PM

General Electric has halted its COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing requirement after the Supreme Court found President Joe Biden’s workplace vaccine-or-test mandate unconstitutional.

GE confirmed its decision to suspend its rules on Friday, according to several news outlets. While the companywide mandate is no longer in effect, GE has been encouraging tens of thousands of employees to get inoculated voluntarily. The Washington Examiner asked GE for a comment about the move.

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In September, Biden announced that businesses with more than 100 employees must institute a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, although they had the option to provide weekly testing results in lieu of inoculation. The mandate also carried financial penalties for employers who failed to enforce the requirement on staff.

SUPREME COURT BLOCKS WORKPLACE VACCINE-OR-TEST MANDATE BUT UPHOLDS HEALTHCARE REQUIREMENT

In a 6-3 decision Thursday, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Biden administration and revoked the requirement.

The conservative majority on the high court found that the secretary of the Labor Department “lacked authority to impose the mandate” and noted the decision should be left up to Congress.

While the court struck down the Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s rule, the Biden administration said it would continue to push states and businesses to impose vaccine and testing requirements.

“As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated,” Biden said.

The president called on “business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up — including one-third of Fortune 100 companies — and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers, and communities.”

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Before the Supreme Court ruling, many business executives expressed fears the mandate would result in employees leaving their jobs in what is an already tough labor market for employers. There was also anxiety about the logistics of enforcing and monitoring the test-out option.

The Supreme Court did rule 5-4 to keep the requirements for healthcare workers in place, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining with the liberal wing of the court in doing so.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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