ISSA LARU—Court Reimposes Vaccine Mandate for Large EmployersJanuary 7, 2022
Happy new year from your ISSA Government Affairs Team! And welcome to our latest ISSA Legislative & Regulatory Update, a biweekly roundup of the latest public-policy issues impacting the full spectrum of the cleaning industry. This update touches on a federal appeals court reimposing OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard for larger employers, information on reserving your seat for ISSA’s 2022 Clean Advocacy Summit, a new ISSA advocacy webinar on January 19, and more.
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Court Reimposes Vaccine and Testing Mandate for Larger Employers
On December 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration can now resume implementing this workplace health standard. The ETS establishes requirements to protect employees of larger employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. This issue will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future.
Registration Now Open for 2022 ISSA Clean Advocacy Summit
Registration is now open for the 2022 ISSA Clean Advocacy—IOPFDA Workplace Solutions Summits, March 30-31, in Washington, D.C., as part of National Cleaning Week! During this two-day event, participants will get up to speed on the pressing public-policy issues for the full cleaning supply chain and independent office products and furniture dealers, as well as sharpen their advocacy acumen. Participants will then apply their new advocacy knowledge and skills by meeting with lawmakers and other Washington insiders to advance both industries. Don’t miss this premier ISSA advocacy event—reserve your seat today!
New ISSA Advocacy Webinar: A Legislative & Regulatory Update for the Cleaning Industry
What can you and your business expect in terms of legislative and regulatory changes in 2022? The speakers in this online event will give you the inside scoop about what is going on in Congress and at the state level that could impact the cleaning industry. Register now for this free ISSA webinar from 12 p.m, to 1 p.m. CT on Wednesday, January 19.
New ISSA Advocacy Webinar: How You Can Celebrate National Cleaning Week
March 27-April 2 is National Cleaning Week, a time when the entire cleaning supply chain celebrates the value of clean! How will your business recognize your employees, thank your customers, and demonstrate the value of clean during this week dedicated to the industry? Get ideas and jumpstart your planning for National Cleaning Week by registering now for this free ISSA webinar from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. CT on Wednesday, February 2.
Supreme Court Schedules January 7 Oral Arguments in Challenges to Biden Vaccine Mandates
The U.S. Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments for January 7 in cases challenging the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements for larger employers and certain health care workers, CNN reported. The high court is deferring action on the applications for a stay of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate pending the oral argument on January 7. As reported above, OSHA moved its enforcement deadlines to January 10 for “any requirements of the ETS” and February 9 for compliance with the testing requirement. Thus, those enforcement deadlines remain in effect for now. ISSA will continue to keep its members apprised of further developments in this evolving case.
Stay on Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate Will Remain in Place for Now
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied the government’s motion to lift the nationwide preliminary injunction against the contractor vaccine mandate, which was issued on December 7 by a federal court in Georgia, according to JD Supra. The court set a briefing schedule in the case with briefs due by January 24, so a decision on the appeal is at least one month away. Until then, the stay remains in effect.
Biden Signs Bill to Increase Debt Limit by $2.5 Trillion
U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill raising the debt limit ceiling, CNN reported. Congress voted to raise the national debt limit by US$2.5 trillion and extend the limit into 2023 after lawmakers raced to avert a default.
Senate May Vote on Biden’s Social Spending Plan Despite Manchin’s Opposition
The U.S. Senate may vote on the Build Back Better Act in January, despite opposition from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to the bill, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced and according to CNBC. Senator Manchin dealt a “crushing blow” to U.S. President Joe Biden’s top domestic priority, which would invest in the social safety net and green-energy programs, while raising taxes on corporations and very high earners.
CDC Shortens Recommended Isolation Period for COVID-19
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with COVID-19 should isolate themselves for five days. If they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people that they encounter.
White House Aims to Boost Trucking Industry
In a bid to improve the nation’s ongoing supply-chain challenges, the White House announced a plan to recruit and train new truck drivers to bolster an industry that has been “stretched thin during the pandemic,” NPR reported.
China Falls Short on Promises as Trade Deal with U.S. Ends
In the 23 months since then-U.S. President Donald Trump signed the phase-one trade agreement with China, Chinese imports from the U.S. have hit a new record. However, Beijing is well behind on promises made—buying little more than 59% of the extra US$200 billion in manufactured, agricultural, and energy goods it said it would by the end of 2021, according to Bloomberg News.
Supreme Court Denies Bid to Block New Mexico COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid to block enforcement of an order in New Mexico requiring public sector workers to be fully vaccinated for coronavirus, according to CNBC. The court previously denied attempts to block COVID-19 vaccination rules in multiple states, including Maine and New York.
States Plan Challenges to Federal Vaccine Mandates
State legislatures will consider new challenges to the Biden administration’s mandates that workers in some settings be required to receive vaccines against COVID-19, setting up a new front in the “tug of war that is already being fought in federal courts across the nation,” The Hill reported.
Booster Mandates Tough Call for States, Businesses
In December, New Mexico became the first state to require COVID-19 boosters for its state employees, health care workers, and educators. Officials there cite recent state research showing that immunity from the first series of shots wanes over time, which corresponds with other studies from around the world. But many other governments, employers, and universities beyond New Mexico are struggling with whether to mandate boosters, leading to mixed messages to the public and a patchwork of policies across the country, even as COVID-19 cases see a winter surge, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Minimum Wage Workers Ring in New Year with Salary Increases
A National Employment Law Project report reveals that minimum wage workers in 21 states and 35 cities and counties will receive pay increases on or around January 1, according to Cleaning & Maintenance Management.