Supreme Court halts vaccine mandate that covered 80 million U.S. workers

A divided U.S. Supreme Court blocked the centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s push to get more people vaccinated amid a Covid-19 surge, rejecting an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule that would have required 80 million workers to get shots or periodic tests.

The court let a separate rule take effect requiring shots for workers in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments from the federal government.

Auto industry vaccine mandates are a bit of a mixed bag, with some automakers and suppliers moving ahead with their own mandatory vaccinations. Others have taken a more cautious, wait-and-see approach, focusing on information-gathering and making workplaces safer through masks, barriers and distancing.

Toyota Motor Corp., with a mostly non-union work force in the U.S., has been more assertive, requiring visible proof of vaccination for workers who don’t want to wear masks.

Other automakers such as Ford Motor Co. and Mercedes-Benz have said they are mandating vaccinations for salaried personnel but not their factory workforce.

Major suppliers in the U.S. said they were waiting to review the rules. A spokesman for Robert Bosch, which employs more than 17,000 people in the U.S., told Automotive News late last year that it will “determine appropriate actions” after the rules are issued and it has reviewed them.

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