NJ businesses applaud Supreme Court’s move to block Biden mandate
The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from requiring all employees at companies with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly, and many business leaders in New Jersey agree with the decision.
Michele Siekerka, the president and CEO of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association said this is exactly what the business community needed to hear.
“In a time like right now when we have an unprecedented hiring and retention crisis going on that type of a mandate would have caused even more challenges for New Jersey businesses to attract and retain their workforce,” she said.
She said this kind of mandate brought into question constitutional issues and the decision by the court “tells New Jersey businesses that you’re not required to have to go in that direction.”
Not one size fits all
Siekerka said when you start looking at implementing new workplace rules right now “we really have to think about the environment within which a business operates, the type of workforce that it has and those that they serve, one size fits all is not appropriate.”
She also noted enforcing this kind of mandate would have been a major issue “and we were very concerned about compliance and the penalties that were attached to this as well.”
Had the mandate been upheld penalties for a first offense could have been more than $10,000.
Mandate will apply to health care workers
The court is allowing the administration to proceed with vaccine mandates for most health care workers in New Jersey and across the nation.
“If you think about the type of work environment and the type of workforce you have and who you’re serving you can find a more clear nexus to why you might want to have a requirement like that,” Siekerka said.
She said whether you support the ongoing vaccination campaign or not, “I think if you go back to the Constitutional issues underlying all of this I think the court went in the right direction."
The court's conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.
More than 208 million Americans, 62.7% of the population, are fully vaccinated, and more than a third of those have received booster shots, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All nine justices have gotten booster shots.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.