Federal appeals court temporarily halts new Biden vaccine rule for companies

On Saturday, a federal appeals court stayed the Biden administration's vaccination rules for US businesses. A new rule was announced Thursday that requires all workers in businesses employing 100 or more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or to submit to weekly testing. Companies that are affected by the rule must provide paid time to employees for them to be vaccinated and ensure that employees who have not been vaccinated wear masks at work. The deadline to comply with the provisions is January 4, 2022.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested an emergency stay of the rule. This was to be enforced through the Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Attorneys general from Louisiana and Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah, as well as several private businesses and advocacy organizations, joined the petition.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' three-judge panel stated Saturday (PDF) it was issuing a stay because petitions give cause for belief that there are grave statutory or constitutional issues with this mandate. However, the Biden administration has until Monday at 5PM ET to respond.

Seema Nanda, the Solicitor for Labor, stated in a statement that the Labor Department is confident it has the legal authority and was ready to defend the rule in court.