1.13.22 COVID-19 Bulletin: SCOTUS Blocks Vax-or-Test Rule
January 13, 2022
This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked OSHA’s emergency rule that required employees at workplaces of 100 or more to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or test weekly.
The court issued a temporary stay, meaning that enforcement of the rule should be paused while circuit courts consider the case more fully.
The rule has been subject to heavy litigation, being blocked by one circuit court and reinstated by another. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the rule last Friday, and OSHA began enforcement of the rule Monday.
In the decision, the majority took issue with the fact that Congress did not weigh in on this mandate. The majority wrote that, “although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here. … Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.”
Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissented.
In a separate decision, the court voted 5-4 to uphold a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in facilities that receive federal funds.
The BNP will continue to keep you informed as the federal government debates this issue.
After years of relentless advocacy to bolster Upstate NY’s innovation and manufacturing industries, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins announced the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region have joined forces with a proposal to become a federally-designated Tech Hub in the first-of-its-kind nationwide competition created in his CHIPS & Science Bill.
The BNP organized a Capital Conversations event as part of our Government Affairs series to examine the workings of the H-1B program and explore potential reforms that could strengthen our regional economy.
The Erie County Industrial Development Agency recently approved a new incentive for MWBE subcontractor utilization, known as the Economic Inclusion Program.
Small businesses can now apply for a new tax credit to help offset COVID-19 costs. The $250 million COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program will cover up to 50% of eligible expenses, for a maximum benefit of $25,000.