Business leaders react to SCOTUS vaccine mandate ruling

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:15 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - New information on how business leaders are reacting to Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling that halted the federal mandate for all private businesses with more than 100 employees to require vaccinations or weekly tests.

South Bend Regional Chamber CEO Jeff Rea says this decision brought some relief to a lot of business owners around our area.

The decision could make it easier for these companies to retain employees who might have left if they were forced to choose between their job and getting the vaccine.

Here’s a statement with a reaction from the President and CEO of SpartanNash who owns Martin’s Supermarkets.

He says ““We are happy that the Supreme Court of the United States sided with private enterprise to not enforce a federal mandate as we believe our Associates should have the freedom to choose whether or not they receive the vaccine. We were prepared to comply with the ETS mandate and will continue to strongly encourage vaccination, and administer them throughout our pharmacies. However, we agree with the ruling since we felt the ETS placed a burden on businesses that are already battling the most challenging labor market and supply chain environment we have ever faced. The ETS could have led to disastrous consequences impacting millions of people by crippling our supply chain and increasing food insecurity for Americans. Having one less barrier for our hard-working Associates, who are vital to keeping America’s supply chain moving forward, will help us continue to best deliver the ingredients for a better life to our customers.”

Rea says lawmakers in the Hoosier State could take this even further. They’re currently discussing a bill that could keep businesses from imposing their own vaccine mandates.

“The Indiana General Assembly is considering providing guidance for businesses. So likely if a business today decided they wanted to mandate, they’re not going to be able to because the general assembly is going to tell them they can’t I think sometime in the next 45 days, so businesses are sort of left in limbo. Do we do it knowing it might get overturned in a month, or do we not do it,” Rea said.

If you want to look into that bill for yourself, it’s House Bill 1408.

Rea says we’ll know more about the progress on the bill by the end of January.

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