NewsLocal NewsCoronavirus


South Florida professionals react to Supreme Court decision on vaccine-or-test mandate

'It's our job to protect those closest around us and our community,' doctor says
Supreme Court
Posted at 10:18 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 08:08:00-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety Health Administration's rule requiring businesses with more than 100 people to prove that all employees have been vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.

James Crocker owns Hog Technologies in Stuart. It's a company that employs nearly 200 people.

"The language in the statute calls for uses of grave danger and when something presents itself as grave danger, we should all be able to agree on that very easily," he said.

Crocker said if a mandate was put in place, it would adversely impact his company.

"Some 30% of my staff we estimate would leave, and by the way, it's not easy to predict whether or not those would be critically important folks, what the difficulty of replacing them would be, what the cost of replacing those folks would be," he said.

In a separate ruling, the court did uphold the rule for health care workers who treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.

"It's our job to protect those closest around us and our community," Dr. Carrie Firestone said.

Firestone said the high court's decision did not go far enough.

"Everybody's tired and tired of arguing with people that are doing their own research and not listening to the experts," she said. "And we know a way out of this, and people aren't doing what we need to do to get out of it."

Workplace attorney Aaron Tandy also closely watched the developments from Washington and the legal impact of it all.

"What they found was OSHA program doesn't have precedence and there really isn't previously an experience with OSHA mandating that workers going into private businesses have to meet certain health-care standards," he said.

On the other hand, Tandy said, Medicare and Medicaid require facilities receiving government money to meet certain standards.