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State Chamber comments on Supreme Court ruling

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 11:29 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 11:44 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - As the Omicron variant continues to push through the country, vaccination requirements for businesses were blocked by the nation’s highest court.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the OSHA Emergency Rule to require vaccination for businesses across the country, sending the case back to the court of appeals level.

“There is a big sigh of relief that has passed all across the country for employers,” said Randy Zook, President, and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

Justices blocked President Joe Biden’s plan to increase the vaccination rate across the country while keeping in place a plan for vaccination for healthcare workers.

“The attempt was just too far, too heavy, and now has been struck down,” said Zook.

Over 80 million people would have been affected by this OSHA Emergency rule.

Zook said business owners have a lot on their plates right now.

“Businesses can focus a little better on the real problems in their business like hiring enough people, getting them trained, and dealing with supply chain disruptions,” he said.

In November, the Chamber held a meeting to prepare businesses if the rule passed.

Zook said although it is blocked, the vaccine conversation will continue.

“Employers have struggled with whether or not to require vaccines. They continue to struggle with it,” he said.

Every business is different, Zook said.

Zook said this ruling gives every employer the chance to make a decision, based on their business.

“One of the first things that will happen. Is that people will make vaccination for a new employee,” he said.

The chamber plans to meet with businesses soon to discuss the ruling and to get a clear understanding of what it means.

President Biden said it is now up to each state and private employer to keep employees and their workspaces safe.

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