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Biden vaccine plan hinges on rarely used rule, inviting legal challenges

 U.S. President Joe Biden’s plan requiring more than 100 million Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 relies on a rarely used workplace rule with a history of being blocked in court, making it an inviting target for legal challenges by employers.

As part of Biden’s plan, unveiled Thursday, private employers with 100 or more staff must ensure that their workers are fully vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test weekly.

The measure will be implemented through an emergency temporary standard, or ETS, issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates workplaces. The rule is expected in the coming weeks, and it was not clear when it would take effect.

OSHA can implement an emergency standard when workers are exposed to a «grave danger» and the standard is needed to protect them. This allows the agency to cut short the usual process for developing a standard, which averages seven years.

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