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Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama’s SCOTUS appeal instrumental in blocking private employer vaccine mandate

As the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments earlier this month in consideration of the legality of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 private employer vaccine mandate, a petition filed by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and its Alabama chapter proved influential in the court’s decision to strike down the edict.

Mandated through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the rule instructed businesses with 100 or more employees to adopt a vaccine-or-test rule for their workers. If employees opted against accepting the COVID-19 vaccine, they would be forced to undergo regular virus testing and wear a mask while on the job.

Concerned that the rule would harm its membership, ABC filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the Biden administration’s mandate. ABC argued on behalf of Alabama’s construction industry that the OSHA rule would have adverse effects on the labor force, contending that it would intensify the issue of skilled labor shortage in the state and across the nation.

The association also argued that the mandate would serve to exacerbate the national supply chain crisis and further increase the cost of essential materials. ABC argued that the penalties applied to companies that were found to be in violation of the OSHA rule would harm both employers and employees alike.

Upon considering ABC’s appeal and weighing the validity of other arguments brought before the high court, justices ruled the OSHA private employer vaccine decree to be unlawful by a 6-3 vote.

According to ABC of Alabama president Jay Reed, the Supreme Court’s decision to rule against the administration’s vaccine mandate was a victory for the construction industry and asserted that jobs would not be adversely impacted by what the association deemed to be an overreaching edict.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling lessens restrictions on our member firms and safeguards their ability to perform their projects successfully and provide jobs for their employees across Alabama,” stated Reed. “We’re pleased with the Court’s decision to strike down the Biden Administration’s overreaching vaccine-or-test rule for businesses. The responsibility for making decisions regarding COVID-19 protocols should be in the hands of individual businesses—not the federal government.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL