The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), joining state and national trade associations, sues the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over its COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard for employers with 100 or more employees. The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 9 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
“Our industry is facing a labor shortage and supply chain disruptions,” said Lyle Beckwith, NACS senior vice president of government relations. “The OSHA rule will make all of this worse, and everyday Americans will take the brunt of the problems it creates.”
NACS members “generally support their employees becoming vaccinated,” Beckwith noted in a declaration to the court, and have offered incentives and paid time off for vaccinations. “NACS’ members have a strong incentive to encourage a vaccinated workforce and they do so.”
Still, some NACS “members expect that they will have many employees quit their jobs rather than receiving vaccinations against their will,” the petition stated.
The petition also raised concerns that if the OSHA rule takes effect, a significant number of employees would refuse both vaccination and weekly testing. As a result, the rule would significantly advance public health and hurt the industry and its ability to serve American consumers.
The petition noted that test kits in some areas aren’t readily and dependably available, and the costs of complying with OSHA’s mandate would be significant in both dollars and time. “OSHA’s estimated costs for these measures are simply not realistic,” NACS stated.
NACS will host a webinar on Friday, Nov. 12, at 1:00 p.m. EST to answer questions about the OSHA emergency temporary standard.