The Biden administration had issued a mandate requiring employees of large companies to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly tests.
At the same time, the court allowed the administration to proceed with a vaccination mandate for most health care workers in the US. The court’s rulings on Thursday come during a surge in coronavirus cases and deal a blow to government efforts to increase the vaccination rate among Americans.
The court’s conservative majority concluded that the government overstepped its authority by trying to impose the COVID-19 vaccination or testing rule on US companies with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.
Both rules had been challenged by Republican-ruled states. In addition to them, business groups have attacked the emergency regulation as too costly and likely to cause workers to leave their jobs at a time when new hires are already hard to find.
The vaccination mandate, which the court will allow to be enforced across the country, covers virtually all health workers in the country. It applies to health care providers who receive federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid, which could affect 76,000 health care facilities, as well as home health care providers. The rule has medical and religious exemptions.
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