NRF Expresses Disappointment With Latest Vaccine and Testing Ruling
The National Retail Federation (NRF) on Friday expressed disappointment about the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision to lift the stay for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 employer-based vaccination and testing mandate. The mandate requires businesses with at least 100 employees to have them vaccinated or face weekly COVID-19 tests and facemask requirements. The OSHA rule also requires employers to provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated. The mandate set a deadline of Dec. 5 for initiating the weekly tests and Jan. 4 for employees to be fully vaccinated. The plan was first announced in September by President Biden, who directed the Labor Department to invoke its emergency powers over the safety of workplaces to require businesses to mandate vaccinations for most employees.
"NRF is disappointed that the [6th] Circuit has decided to lift the stay instituted by the 5th Circuit," said David French, NRF's senior vice president of government relations, in a statement. In addition, he said the NRF "will consider additional legal options. We will also continue to prepare our members to comply with this onerous mandate."
Total Retail's Take: This is another blow to the retail industry, the country's largest private sector employer, which is still reeling from the impact the coronavirus has had on the industry as a whole. The NRF has opposed OSHA's employer-based vaccination and testing mandate, especially since retailers across the country have taken their own extraordinary measures to keep their employees, customers and communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. NRF is also urging the Biden Administration to "delay the [mandate's] implementation timeline. We can work together to find viable ways to increase vaccination rates and mitigate the spread of the virus in 2022," French said in a statement.