OSHA mandate suspension ‘welcome news’ for Montana workers and businesses: Attorney General Knudsen
The Biden administration reversed course, suspending its implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers after previously telling businesses they should proceed despite a court-ordered pause.
A federal court order instructed OSHA to “take no steps to implement or enforce” its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) until the court said otherwise. Despite this, the White House had said businesses should not wait to comply with the mandate. Now, Biden’s OSHA says it has “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”
“This is welcome news for Montanans whose livelihoods were threatened and for businesses facing pressure from the Biden administration despite a federal court order blocking the mandate. Employers in Montana have no reason to force their workers to choose between a vaccine or a paycheck, which would be a violation of state human rights law,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said. “As our lawsuit against the Biden administration joins others, I’m continuing to work with attorneys general from across the nation in the fight to strike down this illegal mandate for good.”
Earlier this month, Attorney General Knudsen and ten other states sued the Biden administration in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to block the mandate. That lawsuit – along with all other challenges nationwide – were consolidated yesterday into the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Montana’s lawsuits against the federal contractor mandate issued via executive order and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mandate continue. Preliminary injunction requests to block those mandates pending the final outcomes have been filed in both cases.