A number of state and national trade associations are suing the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration over its COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard for employers with 100 or more employees. The lawsuit was filed on November 9 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans.

The National Association of Convenience Stores is among the groups who filed the lawsuit. “Our industry is facing a labor shortage and supply chain disruptions,” said Lyle Beckwith, NACS senior vice president, government relations. “The OSHA rule will make all of this worse, and everyday Americans will take the brunt of the problems it creates.”

Other groups involved with the lawsuit are FMI – The Food Industry Association; National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors; National Retail Federation and International Foodservices Distributors Association. Others include national trucking associations and warehouse associations.

Jennifer Hatcher, Chief Public Policy Officer and Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs for FMI, had previously issued a statement that read in part: “As written, the ETS does not balance key issues like a lack of testing availability for employers and the likelihood of significant workforce attrition due to the mandate, particularly among truck drivers. FMI believes the ETS will exacerbate an already existing shortage of transport and supply chain capacity, further slowing delivery times and driving up costs for consumers, retailers and manufacturers — especially given the 30-day window to comply with the majority of the mandate’s requirements as we approach the busy holiday season.”

The lawsuit was filed by Lehotsky Keller LLP A letter accompanying the lawsuit states, “This is a case about American businesses that do not want to face the immediate irreparable harm of losing employees, incurring substantial and unrecoverable compliance costs, and worsening already fragile supply chains and labor markets. Yet that is precisely what would result from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard.” 86 Fed. Reg. 61,402 (Nov. 5, 2021). This challenged action is an extreme assertion of administrative power.”

Earlier in November, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a new emergency temporary standard to protect more than 84 million workers from the spread of the coronavirus on the job. Click here for more information about the standard.

Source: NACS, FMI