November 12, 2021
We continue to hear concerns about the federal vaccine mandate and its impact on the supply chain and the trucking industry specifically. As of today, we know the ATA and the state trucking associations of the 5th Circuit have filed a lawsuit asking the court to stay implementation of the mandate. The basis of the suit is a contention that OSHA did not satisfy the statutory requirements for issuing the Emergency Temporary Standard instead of going through the proper rulemaking process. The 5th Circuit Court has stayed the implementation of the mandate for the moment, but there is more legal wrangling to take place in the coming days and weeks.
We understand that, due to the many other challenges filed in every other circuit, it is expected these lawsuits will be consolidated and a “lottery” would determine which circuit gets to act on the challenges. If successful at the circuit court level (and that’s a big “if” given the leanings of some circuits) then the “stay” issued by the 5th Circuit will apply nationwide until a likely appeal to the US Supreme Court. And even if the Biden Administration loses at the US Supreme Court, they can always start this all over again using the normal rulemaking process (publishing in the Federal Register, getting public comment, etc.) but that is a very lengthy and time-consuming process.
That is the high-level view of what we know as of this moment. There are obviously many moving parts to this and quite a bit of nuance to consider. The best advice we have seen so far is an encouragement for those with over 100 employees to prepare for the possibility of the mandate’s impacts while the myriad of conceivable outcomes play themselves out. Know that from MMTA’s perspective, we remain engaged as a part of the ATA Federation and will continue to advocate for our members on this very important issue.
Brian Parke, President & CEO
Maine Motor Transport Association
Read more on this issue from Transport Topics, November 10