Unvaccinated employees must submit weekly negative Covid-19 tests to enter the workplace after the deadline, and must begin wearing masks indoors on December 5.
Issued by three judges from the .S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the order reasoned that “there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate” and suspended the mandate “pending further action by this court”.
The court order came in response to a joint petition from several Republican-led states as well as several private companies opposing the mandate.
In response to the petition, Seema Nanda, the Labor Department’s top lawyer, stated on Friday that the department was “confident in its legal authority” to issue the mandate, which will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA has the authority “to act quickly in an emergency where the agency finds that workers are subjected to a grave danger and a new standard is necessary to protect them”. she said, adding the administration was “fully prepared to defend this standard in court”.