The Biden administration filed an emergency motion on Tuesday to reinstate its mandate for businesses that employ more than 100 people to either require vaccines or test employees for Covid-19 on a weekly basis, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Justice Department filed the motion with the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati after the court was designated to be the court that would hear any legal challenge to the mandate.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released the rules for the mandate that was expected to take effect on 4 January earlier this month. The rule would impose a $13,653 fine for each serious violation and as high as $136,532 for an employer that deliberately flouts the law.
But that rule was temporarily halted by a federal judge in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a result, the mandate was “temporarily suspended” and the Biden administration was ordered to “take no steps to implement or enforce the mandate until further court order.”
Multiple lawsuits were filed in 12 courts against the mandate after the mandate was halted in the 5th District before the 6th Court won the lottery to hear the legal challenges.
The Justice Department said in its briefing that the rules “OSHA’s judgment that these measures are necessary to mitigate Covid-19 transmission in the workplace, and the grievous harms the virus inflicts on workers.” The department also said the mandate could save the lives of more than 6,500 workers and prevent 250,000 hospitalisations.
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