The Labor Department has vowed to use its authority to protect workers from Covid, after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine and testing rules for private businesses.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, in a statement after the high court’s ruling, said the Occupational and Safety Administration is evaluating its options to enforce safety standards against Covid in the workplace.
“Regardless of the ultimate outcome of these proceedings, OSHA will do everything in its existing authority to hold businesses accountable for protecting workers,” Walsh said on Thursday.
OSHA still has general authority requiring employers to maintain a safe workplace and can fine businesses if they fail to do so. The agency has investigated thousands of Covid complaints with millions of dollars in proposed fines since the pandemic began.
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority, in its 6-3 ruling, called the federal mandate a “blunt instrument” that “draws no distinctions based on industry or risk of exposure to Covid-19.”