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Battle won, legal war continues for Biden vaccine rules

Published: Dec. 19, 2021 at 3:44 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For now, a federal COVID-19 vaccine rule will most likely go into effect in the New Year. An appeals court has allowed President Joe Biden’s rule on vaccines and testing in large companies to stand.

It’s one of three vaccine rules continuing their uphill battle. While the Biden Administration has won some battles, The Supreme Court will be the final answer.

“I just don’t think at the end of the day that with the political, ideological make up of the Supreme Court, plus just the law as it’s written, I’m very skeptical that court will allow that mandate to stand,” Memphis labor attorney Alan Crone said.

On Friday, a federal court of appeals ruled President Joe Biden’s rule that companies with 100 or more employees must require the COVID-19 vaccine or regular testing could be implemented.

The original start date of the rule was January 4, but the Occupational Health and Safety Administration said no one will be cited now until January 10.

Another rule mandating vaccines for all healthcare workers in facilities participating in Medicaid and Medicare, has been able to be implemented in about half the states. Those states do not include Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi who are involved in a lawsuit against that measure.

Finally, a federal judge has put a nationwide block on a rule mandating federal contractors be vaccinated.

“If you’re an employer with a 100 or more employees and haven’t started thinking about implementation of this you need to dust off those plans,” Crone said.

Crone said while this is a win for the Biden Administration, a stay or block could still be put on the rule as the Supreme Court considers it.

He’s telling clients seeking advice to be ready for the rule just in case.

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