The Food Industry Association (FMI) expressed disappointment with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to lift the judicial stay barring implementation and enforcement of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 vaccination and testing for private businesses. FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin issued the following statement regarding the Court’s decision:
"FMI is disappointed that the Sixth Circuit discounted the harm FMI members will face should the ETS be implemented during this challenging time of the year. Lifting the stay will exacerbate ongoing labor and supply chain pressures and negatively impact our members’ ability to focus their efforts on meeting their customers’ needs during the holiday season.
"To be clear, FMI and our member companies are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our customers and employees. Our industry supports efforts to encourage greater vaccination among the American public and has gone to extraordinary lengths to promote vaccination among our associates and communities, including investing $1 billion in incentives to encourage their employees to get vaccinated. Additionally, our 12,000 food retail pharmacies have administered a significant percentage of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, a role they continue to embrace in communities across the nation.
"Given the significant concerns associated with OSHA’s mandate, FMI, along with other association partners, filed an emergency application for an immediate stay in the United States Supreme Court.
"FMI remains committed to working with the President, OSHA, and CDC to encourage and facilitate vaccinations among our employees and communities while preserving our members’ ability to provide their customers with the foods and products they need to keep their families fed and safe during the holidays and beyond.”