In response to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to lift the judicial stay barring implementation and enforcement of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 vaccination and testing for private businesses, FMI – The Food Industry Association, along with other association partners representing a broad range of retail, wholesale, warehousing, transportation, travel, logistics and commercial interests, filed an emergency application for an immediate stay in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“FMI is disappointed that the Sixth Circuit discounted the harm FMI members will face should the ETS be implemented during this challenging time of the year,” noted Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Lifting the stay will exacerbate ongoing labor and supply chain pressures and negatively impact our members’ ability to focus their efforts on meeting their customers’ needs during the holiday season.”
Added Sarasin: “To be clear, FMI and our member companies are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our customers and employees. Our industry supports efforts to encourage greater vaccination among the American public and has gone to extraordinary lengths to promote vaccination among our associates and communities, including investing $1 billion in incentives to encourage their employees to get vaccinated. Additionally, our 12,000 food retail pharmacies have administered a significant percentage of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, a role they continue to embrace in communities across the nation.”
According to Sarasin, the trade association will continue to work with President Biden, OSHA and CDC “to encourage and facilitate vaccinations among our employees and communities while preserving our members’ ability to provide their customers with the foods and products they need to keep their families fed and safe during the holidays and beyond.”
Other organizations that joined in the Dec. 17 application include the National Retail Federation, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors, the Michigan Retailers Association, the Ohio Grocers Association, and the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association.
In November, FMI joined with 10 other trade groups representing grocery, truck drivers, wholesalers-distributors, warehousing and logistics providers and small businesses in a lawsuit challenging the OSHA ETS for COVID-19 vaccination and testing.