While this is not a typical RT&S story, we want to ensure that our readers are aware of the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Biden administration's mandate that large employers (i.e., those employing more than 100 people) must require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The decision to block the mandate came after a 6-3 vote, with conservative justices in the majority. Essentially, the Court ruled that President Biden and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration had exceeded their authority in issuing a nationwide large employer mandate.
When the mandate went into effect, several railroads, including Amtrak, BNSF, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific followed the order and required employees to be vaccinated. Shortly thereafter, rail unions, including the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) filed suit against their employers challenging the legality of the mandate.
President Biden, of course, was disappointed with the Court’s ruling saying, “I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law.”