WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.
At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.
The court’s orders Thursday during a spike in coronavirus cases was a mixed bag for the administration’s efforts to boost the vaccination rate among Americans.
The court’s conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.
Jeffrey Hirsch, a labor law expert at the University of North Carolina, anticipates the stay granted by the high court will likely mean the end of any successful fight for the mandate.
“Although technically it is not a final ruling, for all intents and purposes, it is,” Hirsch said, noting the ruling Thursday has no impact on the ability of North Carolina companies to impose vaccine requirements on their own workers.
“This really doesn’t change anything for North Carolina employees,” he said. “It’s still the same.”