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Coronavirus

General Electric ends vaccine mandate after Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies with over 100 employees

General Electric Company, founded in 1892
General Electric Company, founded in 1892 | Shutterstock

January 17, 2022 6:01pm

Updated: January 17, 2022 10:08pm

General Electric has decided to end its COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing requirements on Friday after the Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate as unconstitutional.

GE confirmed its decision to suspend its rules to several news outlets. It continues to encourage its employees to get vaccinated voluntarily.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies with over 100 employees. Announced in September, the mandate required all qualifying companies to require all of its employees to either be vaccinated or tested weekly, or risk financial penalties.

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court found that the secretary of the Department of Labor “lacked authority to impose the mandate,” saying such a decision should be left to Congress.

Despite the setback, the Biden administration said it would continue to urge states and businesses to impose their own vaccine and testing requirements.

“As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated,” Biden said after the ruling.

Biden added that one-third of Fortune 100 companies have “stepped up” to institute their own mandates.

Business leaders had feared the mandate would result in the further loss of employees in a very tight labor market, as well as the logistics of implementing and enforcing the test-out option.