WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Without a ruling from the Supreme Court, the Biden administration's federal vaccine mandate for private employers with 100 or more employees went into effect this week.
The controversial mandate, which would be enforced by OSHA, requires employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.
OSHA will not be enforcing the testing requirement until February.
Arguments over the mandate came before the Supreme Court days ago, but because the court has not issued a stay or a ruling, the mandate went into effect on Jan. 9, labor attorney Michael Elkins explained.
Businesses should operate as if the mandate will remain in place, but that's not certain according to Elkins. The Supreme Court could issue a ruling striking it down.
"There's a holding pattern and it's a weird place if you're a business that's covered [by the mandate]," Elkins said.
Another big question is how the federal mandate will impact a new Florida law that carves out more exemptions for employees who do not want the vaccine.
Elkins said it's not clear if the state law will be pre-empted by the federal law. If the federal vaccine mandate remains in place, it may take another court case to determine whether businesses in Florida should follow state or federal rules for COVID vaccines.