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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Will companies begin mandating the COVID-19 booster? It's not likely

booster shots
Posted at 4:37 PM, Nov 23, 2021

(WXYZ) — Many states and employers have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place, but the recently-added booster shot adds a layer of confusion.

The big question on peoples' minds is, will there be a booster shot mandate as well?

Two attorneys agreed it might be a challenge to enforce a booster mandate without any pushback from employees.

Last Friday, OSHA pressed pause on a vaccine or testing mandate for employers of more than 100 workers. The agency said they won't enforce the rule after businesses, nonprofits and 27 states launched lawsuits to stop the mandates.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision to put a hold on the mandate citing "grave statutory and constitutional issues."

The court rejected the challenge from the Biden Administration, which claimed halting the mandate could mean many more people will die.

The mandate was set to go into effect Jan. 4, and it still can, but employment attorney Deborah Gordon said the case is going to the Supreme Court.

"It affects so many people around the country and it's something new. This is typically the kind of thing the court is going to want to move quickly on," she said.

This begs the question: Could we see booster shot mandates from private corporations?

Attorney James Hermon said not right now. He said companies are already having a difficult time vaccinating employees.

"Getting a booster is that extra step, above and beyond even getting people to get the vaccine," he said.

As for employers and the government mandating it, Gordon said, "I tend to think most employers are not going to go there. They've required the two vaccines, they're going to leave it at that and see how this plays out."

Here are some ways the mandate for just the vaccine and not the booster can still go into effect

  1. Employees who don't comply must be masked and tested weekly
  2. Only specific tests fulfill the mandate's requirement
  3. Employers must track employees' status and enforce compliance
  4. Failure to comply could lead to big fines

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